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Braves know they must win them all

Braves know they must win them all

ATLANTA -- After Tuesday night's disheartening loss to the Marlins, Braves general manager Frank Wren chose to drive home without partaking in his regular ritual of listening to baseball games on his XM Radio.

"I usually listen to everything going home from game-to-game," Wren said. "But after a tough loss, I don't listen to any baseball. I just go to the '70s [channel] because you don't even want to hear baseball."

Wren's decision prevented him from having to ride the emotional roller coaster that was staged at Coors Field. Brewers catcher Jason Kendall's game-tying three-run home run in the ninth gave the Braves a sense of excitement that was destroyed two innings later when Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta hit a walk-off homer.

With that turn of events, Atlanta fell three games behind Colorado in the National League Wild Card standings. With Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Marlins and the Rockies' 10-6 win over the Brewers, the Braves' deficit became four games. Considering there are just four games to play, it's safe to say the club's postseason hopes have been seriously damaged.

But while preparing for Wednesday night's series finale against the Marlins at Turner Field, the Braves provided an indication that those hopes haven't been destroyed with what was then just their third loss in a span of 18 games.

"I think realistically if you talked to everyone in this building, they probably thought we would lose one game this week," Wren said. "We didn't know when it was going to be, and we knew that we probably needed the Rockies to lose three times. ... We could have been hopeful of winning them all, but that probably wasn't as realistic."

If Atlanta manages to win each of its final four games and Colorado ends up losing its last four -- while playing the Brewers and Dodgers -- then the Braves would still have the opportunity to host the Rockies for a one-game playoff at Turner Field on Monday night.

"The fact that we lost yesterday puts us in the same position in that we've got to win them all," said outfielder Matt Diaz.

Although it might not have been realistic for the Braves to end the season with 13 consecutive victories, they had repeatedly said in the past few days that their mind-set was that they needed to end the season in a perfect manner.

The Braves now realize that perfection over the course of the final four games is not just a goal, but is now a necessity.

"That's why we play this game is to be in these situations," catcher Brian McCann said. "It's a lot better to be in this situation than to have cashed it in three weeks ago. We're still in this thing. I feel like if we win out, we can keep the pressure on them."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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