ATLANTA -- Brian McCann has spent the past couple of months attempting to avoid questions about his future. But as he drove to Turner Field on Friday afternoon, he could not overlook the fact that he would be preparing for what could potentially be his last home game with the Braves.
But instead of focusing on the riches that await him on the free-agent market, McCann attempted to keep his focus on the challenge that awaited the Braves in Friday evening's Game 2 matchup against the Dodgers in the National League Division Series. Atlanta fell victim to Clayton Kershaw's excellence while losing the opener of this best-of-five series on Thursday night.
To guarantee at least one more home game this year, the Braves will have to win at least two of the next three games.
"When I think about [my future], it's definitely there," McCann said. "But at the same time, I mean, what we're doing here today is way more important than what's going to happen to me after the season. You know, I'm just focused on today's game."
With Tim Hudson sidelined with a fractured right ankle, McCann stands as the longest-tenured Braves player on the NLDS roster. The seven-time All-Star catcher made his Major League debut on June 10, 2005. Four months later in his first career postseason at-bat, he homered off Roger Clemens in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Astros.
McCann's decisive homer off Clemens provided the Braves what stood as their most recent postseason home win entering Friday.
The Braves have now lost Game 1 in eight of the past nine NLDS in which they have participated. Their only series win after losing the opener in any of these best-of-five series came in 1999, when they eliminated the Astros in four games.
"We're professional around here, and some of us have been in this position before," McCann said. "We're just down one game. They threw Kershaw at us; he took it to us. Tip your hat and move on."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less