The Atlanta Braves’ September collapse culminated in a season-ending loss Wednesday night.
Many baseball fans were confident the Braves would make the playoffs, but their hopes were dashed just before midnight. The team was eliminated by the Phillies at Turner Field on a double play. They blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning and lost 4 to 3 in 13 innings.
“Not being in the playoffs is a tremendous disappointment,” said third baseman Chipper Jones.
The month of September was a nightmare for Braves fans. The team started the month with an eight-and-half game lead in the wild card race, but finished the season on a five-game losing streak.
“We did a lot of good things this year, and we fell short this last month,” starting pitcher Tim Hudson said.
Relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel took the blame for the loss, saying he let his emotions get the best of him.
“The fact of the matter is, everybody on this team, everybody in this clubhouse showed up to play today and gave everything they could to win this game except myself,” Kimbrel said.
Jones said he regretted not giving the rookie some words of wisdom before the ninth inning. Hudson said despite Kimbrel’s lackluster performance, he played like a champion the rest of the season.
“He just had one night where it did not fall in place for him. It just happened to be the last game of the season,” Hudson said.
Carol Conti was among many who left the stadium on the verge of tears Wednesday.
“The worst day of my life,” she said.
Fans will have to wait until next year for another shot at the playoffs.