In May the Braves made a push in the NL East that eventually resulted in a 7 game lead in the division over the Phillies and Mets. Troy Glaus was in large part responsible for the surge. The veteran first baseman was arguable the hottest hitter in the league during the month of May hitting .330 with a .940 OPS, 6 HR, and driving in 28 RBI.
Due to two sore knees and a bad back, Glaus hit only .182 with no homers and drove in only 5 in the month of July. So either the injuries are worse than he is admitting or the dog days of summer are worse in Hotlanta than the veteran thought they would be.
Either way, Glaus is the wild card in the NL East. The Braves may be able to win the division with Glaus struggling, mainly due to the fact that the Phillies have been hit with so many injuries. However, if Glaus is able to produce anything close to the numbers he put up in May, the Braves will run away with the NL East and could easily find themselves in the World Series.
The Braves just completed a terrible 3-6 road trip which resulted in the Phillies climbing back to within 2.5 games of the Braves. The reason for the struggles on the road had nothing to do with pitching. The Braves just could not drive in runs with runners in scoring position.
The Braves added Troy Glaus for just that very reason. To drive in runs. That is why, until recently, Bobby Cox has place Glaus in the clean-up spot in the line-up.
The Braves have positioned themselves nicely to this point. If at the beginning of the season you had asked Bobby Cox if he would be happy with a 3 game lead on August 3rd, he would have undoubtedly said yes.
With the additions of Alex Gonzalez, Rick Ankiel, and Kyle Farnsworth the Braves have improved a roster that was already capable of playing in a World Series. A little contribution from their veteran first baseman and Bobby Cox could enjoy the most memorable send off any manager has ever seen.