Fredi reflects on central spark in streak
ATLANTA -- As the attention and expectations build around the Braves' 14-game winning streak entering Saturday, manager Fredi Gonzalez has tried to enjoy the ride as much as possible. With his team on the verge of tying the longest streak in Atlanta history, Gonzalez had the chance to reflect on some of the most well-tread explanations for his team's run of success.
Many have pointed to the team's impressive sweep of the Cardinals, a fellow division leader at the time, as the source of the confidence surge that lifted the Braves' offense, rotation and bullpen to another level. But Gonzalez was quick to include the game that immediately followed that high-profile weekend series with St. Louis as an integral part of that pivotal sequence.
"Three national television games, we win three games, we go out against the Colorado Rockies on Monday and [Brandon] Beachy gives up five runs by that [third] inning -- not a very good outing," Gonzalez said. "Very easily, our team could've said, 'You know what? We're tired, we played the ESPN Sunday night game, we just had a [heck] of a series, we just have to mail it in.' Well, we came back and won that game. To me, that's a defining moment for our club."
With the dramatics of that 9-8 extra-inning win at their backs, the Braves have closed out the subsequent games with an efficiency reminiscent of their 12-1 run to open the 2013 season, building their unbeaten streak to the longest in the Major Leagues this year, with several more historic streaks now within range.
"I think it's the same club," Gonzalez said. "I think it's a club that's got resiliency, that battles all the way to the end."