Chopcast: Braves in thick of tight NL playoff race

The Atlanta Braves have won four straight games against National League playoff contenders.

Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The last time the Atlanta Braves found themselves with their backs against the wall in a playoff race, the foundation was different.

Chipper Jones and Brian McCann were still in uniform. So were Martin Prado and Michael Bourn. The pitching staff deferred to the likes of Tim Hudson and Kris Medlen. Those names, for a variety of reasons, do not make up the corps of the 2014 Braves roster, the one fighting for its playoff life while one game back in the wildcard and six games back in the NL East standings with 37 games remaining.

And after dropping nine straight games and losing 12 of 16 during a key stretch, manager Fredi Gonzalez’s club has responded. They posted a 6-4 record against an extremely difficult home slate, and then walked into Pittsburgh, which is also fighting for the wildcard spot, and won on Monday night.

As Gonzalez and third baseman Chris Johnson said following Saturday’s win against Oakland, it’s time to start getting greedy when it comes to wins. In the latest Chopcast episode, our writers discuss:

— Should the focus be on the wildcard or the division race?

— Was Mike Minor’s latest outing a sign of good things to come or is it better to take a wait-and-see approach?

— With the offense starting to score runs during the four-game winning streak, is there more confidence there or is this simply an anomaly?