Bradley’s Buzz: They’re the Braves. They can do anything

They were 23-27 on May 31. Their winning percentage since: .778 in June, .692 in July, .643 in August, .692 in September, 1.000 in October. They’ve improved by 12 wins over last season, something no reigning World Series champ has done since the playoffs arrived in 1969. They held first place by themselves for only one day before October, but six things would have to go wrong over three days for them to lose the division now.

They’re the Braves. They can do anything.

They trailed in every game of the mammoth series just completed. Each time, they had enough runs to win by the sixth inning. They kept coming back. The Mets could come back from nothing, and it’ll take them a while – maybe a century – to get over this latest lost weekend in Atlanta. Today’s New York Post: “Broom Stone: Here lie Mets’ division hopes after killer sweep against nemesis Braves.”

They’re the Braves. They beat Jacob deGrom. They beat Max Scherzer. They beat everybody. They can do anything.

Dansby Swanson, in search of a huge contract, homered in every game. Matt Olson, owner of a huge contract, homered in every game. Knowing that merely winning the series mightn’t be enough, the Braves went 3-0 and turned around the division tiebreaker. After taking four of five games in early August, the Mets led the season series 8-4. The Braves won six of the next seven. They do whatever they need to do, whenever it needs doing.

The Mets managed seven runs over three nights. The Braves managed 14. Doubled ‘em up. Edwin Diaz, he of the trumpeted walk-on music, was no factor. Kenley Jansen: three nights, three saves, one hit, one walk, no runs.

Pete Alonso has 40 homers, 131 RBIs. His weekend totals: zero and zero. Olson’s weekend totals: three homers, five RBIs. Swanson’s: three homers, four RBIs. Two infielders drove in more runs than the Mets’ entire roster, or what’s left of it.

Alonso to the Post: “There are a lot of learning points we can take from the series.”

Learning Point No. 1: Don’t play the Braves when it matters.

It took all the Dodgers had – and those Dodgers had everything – to beat the Braves in the 2020 NLCS. A year later, the Braves won three postseason series without facing an elimination game; they trailed only after Game 1 of the NLDS. The Mets led the Braves by 10-1/2 games on June 1, by seven on Aug. 7. As of today, FanGraphs gives the Mets a 2.1% chance of winning the East.

Meanwhile, the Braves’ odds of winning it all have spiked to 15.8%, which is – cue Timmy Trumpet fanfare – better than the Dodgers’ (15.0). The Braves are 77-32 since May 31; the Dodgers are 77-33.

They’re the Braves. They can beat anybody. They beat the 1993 Giants, who won 103 games. They beat the 2001 Dodgers, who won 106. They’ve all but beaten the 2022 Mets, who could still win 100 games.

The magic number is down to 1, meaning any Braves’ victory in Miami or Mets’ loss to Washington will clinch the division. The Mets banked on deGrom, who’s 34. Max Fried beat him. They turned to Scherzer, who’s 38. Kyle Wright beat him. In all of baseball, what pitchers would you pick over the Braves’ big two?

We shouldn’t have been surprised by the weekend doings. The Braves have been good for a long time – almost five division titles in succession – and what they’ve done these past four months has been next-level stuff.

They’re deep. They’re (mostly) young. They’re still on the ascent. They can do anything. They could win it all again.

The above is part of a regular exercise, written and collated by yours truly, available to all those who register on for our free Sports Daily newsletter. The full Bradley’s Buzz, which includes more opinions and extras like a weekly poll, arrives via email around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We’d be obliged if you’d give it a try.