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For the First Time Since 2001, the Atlanta Braves Are Headed to the NLCS

Damn, this feels good. For the first time in nearly two decades, the Atlanta Braves will play for a spot in the World Series after they swept the Miami Marlins in the NLDS.

The Braves didn't score after loading the bases with nobody out in the second inning on Thursday and I felt — as I'm sure many others did — just that ever-so-slight pit in my stomach that maybe some of that Postseason luck we had seen in the past was about to rear its head. But Atlanta exploded for seven runs in the next three innings and put the game out of reach.

And oh yeah, the Braves didn't allow a run again, becoming the first team in more than 100 years — and the only team in the live ball era — to throw four shutouts in its first five Postseason games.

After what happened in the NLDS last year, Atlanta needed this kind of start to the Postseason to get at least one monkey off its back. And certainly nobody should be satisfied with merely making it to the NLCS, but starting the Postseason 5-0 and playing as well as they have is definitely a great place to be.

I was four years old the last time the Braves played a Championship Series game. I have literally never seen them advance this far — at least that I remember. And while it definitely feels a lot better than all the other Postseasons of my childhood and early adulthood, I want more.

Nobody can tell me this team isn't right up there with the Dodgers the way it's playing right now. If Ian Anderson and Wright continue pitching the way they have, there's not a team in baseball the Braves can't beat in a seven-game series.

We're four wins away from the World Series. Chop On.

Giphy Images.