The Atlanta Braves learned they won the 2013 National League East when the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals around 4:30 this afternoon. While leading against the Cubs, the Braves saw the scoreboard flash to “Final” on the Nats and Marlins game. There were a few high-fives in Atlanta’s dugout when the Marlins won, and a couple of Braves fans did the tomahawk chop in the stands.
They knew they accomplished something that the Braves haven’t since 2005…win the division!
Manager Fredi Gonzalez high-fived a fan as he made his way to the dugout after a lineup change after they saw the scoreboard.
“What a great feeling,” Gonzalez said. ”It really is a great feeling to realize we’ve played 150-some games to get to this point. We knew early on that the Nationals had lost but we still wanted to be able to celebrate and come out with a win. And we did.”
The Braves went on to be victorious over the Cubs on Sunday in perfect fashion with Craig Kimbrel striking out three batters in the 9th inning to pick up his major league best 49th save to make the celebration that much better.
“After that last pitch, I don’t even know what happened,” Kimbrel said. ”It was great. It was everything we’ve worked for the last few years. We’ve been through a lot together.”
“It’s unbelievable what he does in the field and then all of the sudden he comes out and hits two home runs,” Freeman said of Simmons. ”It’s just icing on the cake. He’s been great the whole year.”
Braves still have plenty of work to do though as the division winners taste good but we want more. This is the first step to accomplish what we set out to do in 2013.
“I told [bench coach] Carlos Tosca, I don’t know whether to smile or to cry,” Gonzalez said in reference to his reaction during the game.
“We know last year what happened,” Simmons said. “We played pretty good but not good enough and we had to deal with a one-game playoff thing. It’s definitely a different feeling.
Our Braves favorites took to the Twitter world after the game…
— luis armando avilan (@lavilan70) September 23, 2013
My Coaches plus some pic.twitter.com/t3W5QBgN9R
Seeing all that champagne is getting to me — Andrelton Simmons (@Andrelton) September 23, 2013
— Andrelton Simmons (@Andrelton) September 23, 2013
— Freddie Freeman (@FreddieFreeman5) September 22, 2013
Congrats to Braves Country… nothing but Love for u
— Jason Heyward (@JasonHeyward) September 22, 2013