UPDATE: Here’s a link to tonight’s MyAJC column, addressing how much responsibility manager Fredi Gonzalez shares for this season.
The Braves have been dead in the National League East for a while. But adding an element of humiliation to the recent free fall is that Washington, which is on the verge of clinching the division title, can celebrate at Turner Field with a win tonight or Wednesday.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Braves have seen another team celebrate on its home field (either Turner or Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium). Since 1992, the Braves have lost postseason elimination games at home 10 times. This isn’t the postseason, but the sense of imminent doom for the Braves’ overall playoff chances, as well as the Nationals’ coronation, makes it pretty close.
Maybe the Braves should have some sort of fan giveaway for games like this, like official team blinders to all in attendance.
Here’s a year-by-year accounting since the Braves reached the postseason in 1991. (Home elimination count in parenthesis.)
1991: Lost deciding World Series game in Minnesota.
1992 (1): Lost deciding World Series game to Toronto 4-3 in 11 innings at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Blue Jays won series 4-2.
1993: Lost deciding NLCS game in Philadelphia.
1994: No postseason (players’ strike).
1995: Braves won deciding World Series game over Cleveland 1-0 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, winning series 4-2.
1996: Braves lost deciding World Series game to New York Yankees on the road (but they lost three straight home games after winning first two in New York, which might as well have eliminated them).
1997 (2): Braves lost deciding NLCS game to Florida at Turner Field 7-4, losing series 4-2.
1998 (3): Braves lost deciding NLCS game to San Diego at Turner Field 5-0, losing the series 4-2 — and going 0-3 at home.
1999: Braves get swept in World Series by the New York Yankees, losing last two games on road after losing first two at Turner Field.
2000 (4): Braves lost deciding NLDS game to St. Louis 7-1 at Turner Field, getting swept 3-0.
2001 (5): Braves lose deciding NLCS game to Arizona 3-2 at Turner Field, losing series 4-1 and getting swept in three straight home games.
2002 (6): Braves lose deciding NLDS game to San Francisco 3-1 at Turner Field, losing series 3-2 (and going 1-2 at home).
2003 (7): Braves lose deciding NLDS game to Chicago 5-1 at Turner Field, losing series 3-2 (and going 1-2 at home).
2004 (8): Braves lose deciding NLDS game to Houston 12-3 at Turner Field, losing series 3-2 (and going 1-2 at home).
2005: Braves lost deciding NLDS game to Houston on the road, losing series 3-1.
2006-2009: Missed playoffs.
2010 (9): Braves lose deciding NLDS game to San Francisco 3-2 at Turner Field, losing series 3-1 (and going 0-2 at home).
2011: Missed playoffs. Noteworthy: Swept in season-ending series at home by Philadelphia, giving St. Louis the National League wild card berth. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series.
2012 (10): Braves lose inaugural National League wild card elimination game to St. Louis 6-3 at Turner Field. Two words: infield fly.
2013: Braves lose deciding NLDS game to Los Angeles on the road, lose series 3-1.
— MyAJC: Falcons let everybody see their ugly side — AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati — MyAJC: Georgia Tech has problems, but it also has Justin Thomas — AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s narrow escape — AJC: Danny Ferry takes leave but Hawks won’t change with this ownership — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints — AJC: Hawks giving lessons on how not to contain a fire — AJC: Goodell was at Masters when Rice video arrived at office — AJC: Adam Silver, Magic Johnson see Ferry-Deng differently — MyAJC: Only cure: All Hawks’ owners and Ferry must go — AJC: Levenson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar miss point about Atlanta — MyAJC: Levenson gone but timing raises questions — AJC: Hawks’ Levenson has ugly exit because of email — MyAJC: Matt Ryan wouldn’t let Falcons lose — MyAJC: Georgia Tech still looks wobbly at 2-0 — AJC: Short takes on Tech’s 38-21 win over Tulane — AJC: Live blog: Tech tries to spoil Tulane’s party — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints — AJC: Video evidence of Stephen Garcia hitting bottom — MyAJC: Falcons need Mike Nolan to create an illusion — AJC: Michael Sam not being viewed as just a player — MyAJC: With Todd Gurley, possibilities are endless — AJC: Short takes: Georgia 45, Clemson 21 — AJC: Cantor’s magic tallis has cure to Braves’ problems (on Fridays) — AJC: Weekend Predictions (no lie): Dogs over Clemson — MyAJC: Richt, Georgia need another highlight — MyAJC: Braves CEO Terry McGuirk vows ‘Everybody accountable’ — MyAJC: Full Q&A with Braves CEO Terry McGuirk — AJC: On Braves, McGuirk and repairing baseball