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These sad unopened boxes of champagne outside the Braves' clubhouse sum things up after Game 5

A night that started out with such a heady feeling for Atlanta ended up a dud.

ATLANTA — They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this one only needs to be worth five: Ah, what might have been.

Things started out with a heady feeling in Atlanta on Sunday night, as the Braves came into the game with a sense of destiny and a first-inning grand slam by Adam Duvall that only added to that atmosphere.

RELATED: World Series Game 5 moments | Braves squander early lead, fail to clinch at home

The city was simply buzzing before the game, and completely ready for a party after that moment.

But the team's pitchers scuffled through a second straight bullpen game, squandering the early lead and failing to keep Houston in check through the middle innings, and it turned out Game 5 was not to be the championship clincher for the Braves.

After the game, 11Alive sports reporters Maria Martin and Reggie Chatman were outside the team's clubhouse and caught a sight of something that basically sums it all up: Boxes of champagne that, had things gone differently, would have been ready to be opened and sprayed around by the Braves.

But hey, here's the thing: Yes, Atlanta sports teams are notably snakebitten in these kinds of high-stakes situations, but this Braves team has felt different all year.

They had their best pitcher on the mound in Game 5 of the NLCS, Max Fried, and he similarly struggled through a dud of a game. It could've collapsed from there, but instead the Braves powered on.

The Braves haven't lost back-to-back games at any point during their run to the World Series. And Duvall, the grand slam hitter of Game 5, spoke about the team's resiliency after the loss. 

"We're playing for it all, we're playin for everything right now, we're playing for the dream we had as a little kid," he said. 

Bouncing back, he said, is "what we've been doing all year."

"We've learned to turn the page and we've learned to celebrate the win or go over the loss and figure out what we need to do better," Duvall said. "It's a quick turnaround and we play a lot of games. You gotta be short minded and be able to forget when you need to forget, just turn the page and play your best ball tomorrow."

And you think Braves fans are about to be defeatist? Hardly.

Ozark actor Kevin L. Johnson responded to Maria's tweet with the unopened champagne with a sentiment that surely echoes throughout the fan base:

"Wrap it up. Put it on plane. We’ll be popping bottles on Tuesday."

Game 6 will start at 8:09 p.m. ET on Tuesday in Houston. The Braves will have two chances in Texas to bring that World Series trophy home.

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