Braves won't let 2011 happen again

PHILADELPHIA -- The Atlanta Braves wake up this morning with a lead of 12 1/2 games in the National League East, and if they win just one of three games in Washington in the series that starts tonight, the division race may be all but over. Now, you’ll probably never get anybody in the Braves organization to talk about their position of strength, about a fait accompli, given their historic late-season collapse of 2011.

But they are burying their NL East brethren, have only seven games remaining against teams with records over .500 the rest of the season, and probably will face the Marlins after they shut down Jose Fernandez -- whom the Braves have not seen this year, through a bit of good fortune -- and will see the Mets at a time when they’ll be pulling the reins back on Matt Harvey.