This is the first time the Braves will be the NL’s top seed since 2003. They were also the No. 1 seed in 2002 (101 wins), 1999 (103), 1998 (106), 1997 (101), 1996 (96), 1995 (90*), 1993 (104) and 1992 (98). The Braves won their 102nd game Wednesday, achieving their best record since 1999 (103 wins).
The Braves’ past two comeback victories carry a heavy influence on the NL postseason bracket, too. The Cubs have fallen into a tie with the Marlins for the final wild card spot. The Diamondbacks are two games ahead of the Cubs and the Marlins for the second wild card. If Arizona clinches the 5-seed, it would go to Philadelphia next week for the best-of-three Wild Card round. The Braves will face the winner of that series in the best-of-five NL Division Series. Games 1, 2 and 5 (if necessary) would be at Truist Park.
- It’s been a nice few days for speedster Forrest Wall. He homered in Washington over the weekend and scored the winning run Tuesday as a pinch-runner. He’s a potential valuable piece for the postseason with his speed. He stole 52 bases on 60 attempts in Triple-A this season.
“Love what he brings,” Snitker said of Wall. “He scored the go-ahead run (Tuesday). He’s another one, it’s hard not to like that guy. The determination and how he knows his role. He’s taking advantage of what few opportunities he’s had. So another young guy who just has to keep grinding and playing the game because he has skills.
“You always like to have guys who can run. He’s a good defender. I think a guy with that fearlessness he has has been a really important in certain situations in October.”
Snitker also indicated that Wall and Luke Williams, another versatile player whose best value is running, might not necessarily be superfluous. Both are candidates for the postseason roster.
- Ace starter Max Fried (blister) has continued progressing and “right where they thought he’d be right now,” Snitker said. Fried, currently on the injured list, is expected to be ready for the NL Division Series.
- Right-hander Kyle Wright will make a relief appearance in the coming days, which might be his final appearance of the regular season. Wright, who’s been derailed by injuries, is trying to show the Braves he could contribute as a reliever in the NLDS.
- Marcell Ozuna has been seen taking grounders at first base, but he hasn’t shown enough that the Braves would use him there (not that Matt Olson ever takes a day off). “I might put (Ozuna) over there March 2nd or 3rd (in spring training),” Snitker said.