By Matt O’ConnorThe Atlanta Braves are now the National League’s only franchise to win the all-star game in the same year, and now that team is getting the “National” trophy.
The Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians 5-4 on Sunday, and in doing so they earned the right to wear the trophy during the All-star Game.
“We just have a new championship and it’s something that we’ll never forget,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
“It’s a special honor and a momentous occasion.”
The team, which has been without a winning record since 2013, is headed to Atlanta to face the National Lacrosse League’s Cleveland Barons on Thursday.
The NL has not made the playoffs since 2007, when the Braves and Minnesota Twins went 2-1 in the final eight games of the regular season.
The team has gone winless in the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, and the only time it won a championship was in 2014.
In the past two seasons, the Braves have lost three of four.
Atlanta’s winning streak in the NL West has been snapped, and it will be hard for the Braves to find a way to get back in the playoff hunt this year.
In order to get to the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves will need to win a tiebreaker game on Thursday in Cincinnati, where the defending NL champions the Cincinnati Reds play.
In that game, the winner of that tiebreaker will get to host the NL Wild Card Game.
The tiebreaker has been decided, and that game will be played on Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
The winner of the tiebreaker would then face the winner in the Wild Card game.
The Atlanta Braves have been in the postseason in five consecutive years.
Gonzalez said that’s not a coincidence.
“The way the league is right now, you have a lot of parity and there’s only one team,” he said.
The National Lacry League announced the winners of its six regional awards Monday.
The winners of the regional awards will be named the National Champion.