Brave New World, Same Old Story

09/14/2023 Brave New World, Same Old Story

By: Jeff Yoder

Atlanta Braves Clinch 6th Straight NL East Title On the Field Where Last Season Ended…

Death, taxes, and the Braves winning the NL East. These things you can count on. Wednesday night was payback, of sorts. The Atlanta Braves, with the playoffs already in hand, had the chance to clinch the division for the sixth straight season. And on the field of the rival Philadelphia Phillies; the same team who knocked them out of the playoffs last October. Atlanta did just that, securing a 4-1 win behind their star players. Ronald Acuna Jr. (3-for-5), Austin Riley (2-for-4, 1 HR, 3 RBIs) and ace Spencer Strider (7IP, 9Ks, 4 Hits, 1 ER) were dominant once again. But this division-clinching night had two stories in tandem — dominance on one side and fueled fury on the other.


Divisional Dominance

The Braves’ divisional dominance has been unmatched over the past 30 years. No other team has strung together more than six straight divisional crowns, and the Braves have done it twice. Atlanta holds the MLB record for consecutive division titles in a row (14: 1991-2005). They now hold 23 NL East titles, including 20 in the last 32 seasons.


Most Division Titles in MLB History

Atlanta Braves (23)

Los Angeles Dodgers (20)

New York Yankees (20)

Oakland Athletics (17)

St. Louis Cardinals (15)


Philly Fuel

The fact that this celebration came in Philadelphia — complete with champagne on the field and Braves players flipping the bird to screaming Phillies fans — is remarkable. The last two World Series have featured the Houston Astros from the AL, but the NL representative was either the Braves (2021 World Series champs) or the Phillies (2022 World Series runner-up). Atlanta celebrated on this night, but they might’ve just fueled their rivals for another epic playoff battle a month from now.


Watch: Braves Beat Phillies (4-1) to Win 6th Straight NL East Title


MLB Quick-Hitters

Missing Mad MaxThe Rangers took a devastating blow on Wednesday when they found out newly-acquired ace Max Scherzer would miss the rest of the regular season (and likely the playoffs) with a shoulder injury. The Rangers still won their fifth straight, but without Scherzer or Jacob deGrom, Texas could be in trouble.


Astros’ No-No Broken in 9thThe Astros flirted with a combined no-hitter in Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the A’s, but it was broken up with one out gone in the 9th inning. Hunter Brown pitched five scoreless frames before three members of the bullpen were out-free in the 6th, 7th and 8th. Houston still holds the slight edge in the AL West.


Giant-Saving Walk-OffThe Giants pulled off a late-inning rally against the Guardians that was something special. San Francisco got a three-run jack from J.D. Davis to tie the game in the 8th inning (5-5) before LaMonte Wade Jr.’s walk-off sac-fly (6-5). The Giants are just 0.5 games back of the final wild card spot.


MLB Wild Card Races

American League

DIV: Orioles (91-54), Astros (83-64), Twins (76-70)

Wild Card Race

WC1: Rays (90-57)

WC2: Rangers (81-64)

WC3: Mariners (81-65)

OUT: Blue Jays (80-66)

OUT: Red Sox (73-72)

OUT: Yankees (73-72)


National League

DIV: Braves (96-50), Dodgers (88-57), Brewers (81-64)

Wild Card Race

WC1: Phillies (79-67)

WC2: Cubs (78-69)

WC3: Reds (76-71)

OUT: Diamondbacks (76-71)

OUT: Marlins (75-71)

OUT: Giants (75-71)


Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images