One month from tomorrow, the Braves — barring a rain delay or collapse of the Lester Maddox Memorial Bridge on I-75 — will have played their 9th game vs. the Mets. It’s a strange scheduling quirk but not without precedent.
In 1980, for instance, the Braves played 8 of their first 10 games against the Reds. Then, familiarity bred failure, as the Reds won all but one of those games, scoring 40 runs to Atlanta’s 12. The Reds would go on to win 16 of the 18 contests the two teams played that year.
Nothing new there. From 1973 to ’80, the Braves won 41 and lost 105 vs. the Big Red Machine.
Losing 7 of those first 8 vs. the Reds in 1980 sunk what was otherwise a promising season. The Braves would top .500 (barely) for the first time since 1974, finishing 79-64 vs. the rest of the National League.
Of course, Atlanta is unlikely to play that badly against the Mets or that well vs. everyone else. But if they finish 81-80, like the ’80 Braves did, I’d be more than happy.