And sure enough, that was the result. But not in the manner the Braves had hoped.
Suffering a gut-wrenching 1-0 loss on Wednesday night, the Braves were swept out of Philadelphia, having lost three straight games to sink six games out of first place with just nine games remaining in the season. The Phillies have now won 10 straight games.
The slumping Braves, who entered the night with a one-game lead in the wild-card standings, are trying to earn a postseason berth in Bobby Cox’s final season as manager. But a late-season swoon has put those hopes in serious doubt.
In Wednesday’s series finale, Philadelphia’s Roy Oswalt and a pair of relievers combined on a one-hitter as the Phillies blanked the Braves to improve to 44-15 in their past 59 games and 18-3 in September. Raul Ibanez hit an RBI double with two outs in the eighth inning for the only run, helping the two-time NL champions reduce their magic number for clinching their fourth straight division title to four. It was the Phillies’ first home sweep over the Braves since 2001.
Oswalt allowed just one hit — a clean double by Martin Prado in the fourth — and one walk in seven scoreless innings.
Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth to end it. He allowed a two-out walk to Jason Heyward, but then retired Martin Prado for the final out.
Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson pitched six scoreless innings in perhaps his best outing of the season. Reliever Jonny Venters took the loss.