Blog Entry

Playoff race: Vazquez trims Braves lead to 1 1/2

Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:12 am

By Evan Brunell

The Braves couldn't solve Javier Vazquez on Tuesday, dropping a crucial game to the Cardinals in the NL wild card chase.

Vazquez has been on fire for the Marlins after starting the season with poor results. He's given up just one run in his last five starts, trimming his ERA to 3.77 and no longer looking washed up. Derek Lowe had a solid start of his own, but couldn't keep pace with Vazquez as the Braves dropped to 7-13 in their last 20 games. The Cardinals, meanwhile, rebounded from Tuesday's loss to take out the Mets and move just 1 1/2 games behind the Braves, and this is officially a race as the calendar flips its way toward October.

The Giants are only on the periphery of the wild card race, but they too won to push their own deficit to 3 1/2 games behind Atlanta. It's too little, too late for the defending World Series champions, although technically the odds still say they have a fighting chance. With a three-game set with Arizona upcoming, though, they will have a tougher go of it than St. Louis to overtake Atlanta, as the Cards have seven games left against teams with losing records. St. Louis will finish up its series with the Mets on Thursday before taking on the Cubs and then feasting on the Astros. The Braves, meanwhile, have to get past a Nats team that just warned the Phillies they will be competing for the division soon. Then, the Braves have to contend with the Phillies so there is all too real a possibility that Atlanta could fritter away a 10 1/2 game lead in the wild card chase in the span of a month.

Atlanta Braves
Remaining schedule: 3 @ WAS, 3 v. PHI expectancy of wild card: 64.2 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
86-69, 1.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 1 v. NYM, 3 v. CHC, 3 @ HOU expectancy of wild card: 34.6 percent

San Francisco Giants
84-71, 3.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 1 @ LAD, 3 @ ARI, 3 v. COL expectancy of wild card: 0.9 percent

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:09 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 6:49 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:02 pm

Playoff race: Vazquez trims Braves lead to 1 1/2

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Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:51 pm

Playoff race: Vazquez trims Braves lead to 1 1/2

Can anyone who follows the Cardinals tell me what, if anything has fueled their recent turn around?  I don't follow them too much, but I know that earlier in the season, even fairly recently, they weren't doing so well.  One Ace out for the season, the other one struggling.  Is there anything in particular that has changed recently?  Return from injury, call ups from the minors?  Or did they simply get hot at the right time. 

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