The Braves defeated the Nationals 3-2 Tuesday at Truist Park. They secured their fifth consecutive postseason berth, but their sights are set on greater accomplishments.

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Here are five takeaways from the game:

1. The Braves’ victory, paired with the Mets’ win in Milwaukee, means they’re officially in the postseason. Of course, the Braves would’ve preferred the other outcome. The Brewers blew a four-run lead and lost to the Mets 7-4. If Milwaukee protected its advantage, the National League East would be tied.

“No (we’re not celebrating),” manager Brian Snitker said. “Everybody is tired. Guys want to go home and get a good night’s sleep.”

2. Travis d’Arnaud put the Braves ahead with a two-run blast in the fourth. It was preceded by a Matt Olson single, his third hit in two nights; an encouraging trend after Olson had only four hits in his past 18 contests.

D’Arnaud has 18 homers. His backup William Contreras has 19. The Braves have MLB’s best catching duo, one that could combine for 40 home runs by year’s end.

“You’re getting a Hall of Fame year out of that position this year with the production,” Snitker said.

Starter Charlie Morton said of d’Arnaud: “He’s definitely a guy that, when I’m done, I’ll look back on and think about how lucky I was to be on the same team as him for several seasons. Some really special times. Thinking about not being able to play with Travy kind of makes me sad. He’s been great.”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

3. Morton allowed one run over 5-1/3 innings, striking out nine and walking three. His key inning was the fourth, when Washington loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Morton struck out Ildemaro Vargas on four pitches, getting a whiff on an 82-mph curveball to escape. Morton has 196 strikeouts, putting him close to his fourth consecutive 200-strikeout campaign (excluding the truncated 2020 season).

4. Morton exited with two on and one out in the sixth. Enter Collin McHugh, who saw a run score on second baseman Vaughn Grissom’s error but protected the Braves’ narrow lead. A.J. Minter followed with a scoreless eighth.

It’s a good thing shortstop Dansby Swanson provided insurance with a solo homer in the eighth. The Nationals had two infield hits against Kenley Jansen in the ninth and scored a run. Jansen, who hurt his neck trying to make a play on a bunt, completed the save by getting Luke Voit to fly out to center with the bases loaded.

“That was big,” Snitker said. “I’m sure (Jansen) will be sore tonight, tomorrow. We just have to check him when he comes in because those things have a way of tightening up and everything. We’ll treat him up tonight and see how he is tomorrow.”

5. The Braves won their 10th consecutive home game. They last achieved that feat in 2019 with a 13-game winning streak at Truist Park. Their 52 home victories lead the majors.

Braves 3, Nationals 2

Stat to know

5 (The Braves are headed to the postseason for the fifth straight year. They’ll hope to begin the playoffs as reigning five-time NL East champs.)

Quotable

“I hope Milwaukee comes back, quite honestly.” – Snitker answering a question about the Braves clinching a postseason spot. His post-game press conference was during the ninth inning of the Mets’ win

Up next

The Braves and Nationals finish their series Wednesday. The Braves will start Bryce Elder, who’s impressed in his last two major-league outings, as part of their rotation shuffling. Max Fried was pushed to Thursday’s series opener in Philadelphia while Spencer Strider was skipped due to left oblique discomfort (the Braves don’t expect him to require time on the injured list).