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MLB – 1985 – Baseball Behind The Seams – The End To The Atlanta Braves Season – With Kirk Douglas

The 1985 Atlanta Braves season was the 20th in Atlanta and the 115th season in franchise history. The Braves failed to qualify for the postseason for the third consecutive season….so, during the off-season, the Braves would hire former Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Chuck Tanner as their 1985 manager.  In addition to a new manager, the 1985 Braves had a new relief ace in Bruce Sutter…..and they also had slugger Bob Horner in the lineup and Dale Murphy was back as well.

The Braves started the season 4–1….but lost three consecutive games to the Reds at home to fall to .500. A 9–5 win over the Astros on Friday, April 19, gave the Braves a 5–4 record, good enough for second place, a half-game out. However, the Braves would not be above the .500 mark again. They lost three straight games to drop into fifth place with a 5–7 mark. Later, the Braves beat the Reds twice, 8–4 and 17–9 to even their record at 10–10, and to climb within a game of first place. This was on May 1, and the Braves led the National League in runs scored.

Things changed quickly, however. The Braves not only lost eight of their next ten games (May 3–14), they were also shut out four consecutive games (May 8–12). They were held to only one run in each of the two games that followed, one of which was a win. The 12–18 Braves were in last place, six games out….then Atlanta improved to 16–19 and 4​12 games out of first following a 3–0 win over Chicago on May 19. The Braves then lost three straight to the Cardinals….which was the beginning of a 4–11 stretch that lowered their record to 20–30 on June 7…..as Atlanta was 10​12 games behind at that point….and the Braves’ situation was becoming precarious. They won their next three games by impressive margins….as Atlanta was 33–38 and 9​12 games of first place….and were mired in fifth place, however.

The Braves lost nine of their next 11 games and were 35–47 on July 10….while being in fifth place and 12 games out…..then they swept the Philadelphia Phillies in four games just before the All-Star Break. Atlanta was 39–47 at the half, in fifth place and 9​12 out.

The Braves were 49–59 on August 11, in fifth place and 15 games out…..as it was basically over for the Braves….with no real chance at first place…..when Atlanta lost six in a row and were 16 games below the .500 mark for the first time since 1979.  After a 6–3 win over San Diego halted the losing streak the Braves lost six straight again…..when at this point the Braves were 50–71 and 22 games out of first….and that is when Mgr Haas was fired and Wine took the helm. The Braves won their first five games under the new manager….however, they fizzled out with an 11–25 finish that dropped them to 66–96 and 29 games out of first place. Thanks to the San Francisco Giants’ even poorer performance, the Braves avoided last place and finished in fifth place, a position they had held for all but one day since May 15.

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