ATLANTA – Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t overly excited about his team clinching a playoff berth.
He would’ve preferred that the Milwaukee Brewers had beaten the New York Mets so Atlanta would be in a first-place tie in the NL East.
“I hope Milwaukee comes back, quite honestly,” Snitker said before the Mets finished off the Brewers. “But if we get in the door, we give ourselves a chance. That’s what we want to do. The No. 1 thing is we want to win the division and we’re right there to make that happen, but it’s good to give yourself an opportunity when you get in the tournament.”
Travis d’Arnaud broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the fourth inning, Dansby Swanson went deep in the eighth, and the Braves beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 Tuesday night and clinched a playoff berth.
The defending World Series champion Braves secured their trip to the postseason when Milwaukee lost to the Mets 7-5 less than 30 minutes later. Atlanta (93-55) is also vying for its fifth consecutive division title, but remained in second place, one game behind the New York in the NL East.
There was no celebration in the clubhouse after the game. Country music played softly in the background as a few players milled about and talked quietly.
The Braves have much bigger goals in mind than just making the playoffs.
“Obviously we’re aiming for higher, but making the playoffs is a big deal,” d’Arnaud said. “A lot of Hall of Famers played their whole career and never made it to the playoffs. But for us it’s a simple as try to win every series. It’s a marathon. It’s not over.”
Swanson added his 21st homer, an opposite-field solo shot to right off Kyle Finnegan that sailed 379 feet and padded the lead to 3-1. The Braves have won 10 straight games at home, outscoring opponents 47-15 over this stretch. Atlanta is 52-25 at Truist Park and has the NL’s second-best winning percentage in home games.
Charlie Morton (8-6) allowed one run and three hits with three walks and nine strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He didn’t give up a hit until Victor Robles singled with one out in the third. Robles advanced on a throwing error by Morton on a pickoff move, but Morton struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Morton avoided trouble in the 31-pitch fourth. He issued a pair of two-out…