April 18, 2024

Chris Sale took the mound on Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Braves suffered their first loss of the 2024 MLB season, falling 5-4 on the road to the Philadelphia Phillies in newly acquired pitcher Chris Sale’s debut start for the team. Sale was recruited to Atlanta from the Boston Red Sox this offseason in the hopes of adding depth to a Braves pitching staff that has struggled in each of the team’s last two playoff losses, both of which came against the Phillies.

After the game, Sale was completely honest about his thoughts on the game.

“It would have been nice to pull this one through, but today was a dogfight,” Sale told Bally Sports: Braves on X, the social networking platform that was previously known as Twitter. “Sometimes you’re on the right side, sometimes you’re on the wrong side, but we didn’t give up, we didn’t quit, and that’s what you want to see.”

Sale also took the time to analyze his individual performance, particularly how important it will be for the team moving ahead.

“Just staying on it, you know?” Sale said. “No confetti gets thrown in March, so we’ve still got a long road, a long ways to go, so just staying on top of things I’ve got to stay on top of and just trying to be successful.”

Despite the setback, the Braves won the series against the Phillies two games to one, securing their first series victory of the young 2024 season.

A quest for redemption in Atlanta

Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale admits to acting 'like an idiot' during  caught-on-camera outburst | The Hill

 

As previously stated, the Braves’ two playoff losses since their World Series championship in 2021 have all come at the hands of the Phillies, despite enjoying home field advantage in both games. Both series followed eerily similar paths, with Atlanta falling down in Game 1, recovering in Game 2, and then losing both Games 3 and 4 on the road in Philadelphia, missing out on the opportunity to return home to avoid elimination.

Those two failures were undoubtedly on the players’ minds this weekend in Philadelphia, though it should be stressed that postseason payback can only be exacted in the postseason, not in March.

Still, Atlanta will need to take things one game at a time this season, as they appeared to do in the series opener against Philadelphia. This year, the Braves are looking for a startling seventh straight NL East division win, bringing back memories of the team’s supremacy over their division during their spectacular run in the 1990s and early 2000s.

However, seasons don’t get much more “championship or bust” than what the Braves are now going through, especially with the weight of the last two playoff losses to the Phillies on their shoulders. Atlanta’s next series is on the road against the Chicago White Sox, which begins Monday afternoon.

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