Tag:Playoff race: NL wild card
Posted on: September 19, 2011 10:35 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 11:10 pm
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Playoff race: Braves' heartbreaker tightens race

Omar Infante

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After just having beaten Roy Halladay and the Phillies, the Cardinals were likely in their clubhouse watching a Chipper Jones misplayed ball lead to an Omar Infante two-run, game-winning homer and pulling St. Louis to within 2.5 games of the Braves in the National League wild-card race.

If the Cardinals can come back to overtake the Braves, they've certainly earned it this weekend, taking three of four in Philadelphia, beating both Cole Hamels and Halladay in the process.

Atlanta saw an error by Infante give them a lead in the seventh inning, but then Jones' inability to field Emilio Bonifacio's chopper that Jones lost in the lights set up Infante's walk-off homer off of Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.

St. Louis' remaining schedule is nowhere near as daunting and the way the Cardinals are pitching, it could come down to the last series of the season, when St. Louis is playing the team with baseball's worst record and Atlanta is hosting the team with baseball's best record. 

There may only be a little more than a week left in the season, but it's hard to see this not going down to the wire.

Atlanta Braves
87-67
Remaining schedule: 2 @ FLA, 3 @ WAS, 3 vs. PHI
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 78.2 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
84-69, 2.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 vs. NYM, 3 vs. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 17.7 percent

San Francisco Giants
83-70, 3.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ LAD, 3 @ ARI, 3 vs. COL
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 3.4 percent

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:35 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 12:09 am
 

Playoff race: Phils win East, help Braves



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

The Braves were officially eliminated from the National League East race and they couldn't be happier about it.

There was no way Atlanta was going to catch the Phillies in the East, but a Braves win over the Mets coupled with the Phillies' victory over the Cardinals put the Braves' wild card lead at 4.5 games, with 10 games to go. Philadelphia clinched the National League East with a 9-2 victory over the Cardinals, their fifth straight division title.

Losing five of their last seven, any win -- be it 1-0 or 11-0 -- was a welcome site for the Braves. 

It wasn't easy for Atlanta on Saturday, as Tim Hudson and New York's R.A. Dickey locked into a fantastic pitchers' duel, allowing just seven hits between them. Hudson allowed four, but struck out 10 and had noted Mets killer Chipper Jones on his side. Jones' two-out single in the eighth brought in the game's only run and rookie closer Craig Kimbrel recorded his 45th save, striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth.

In Philadelphia, the Phillies used a six-run eighth inning -- capped by a Raul Ibanez grand slam -- to pull away from the Cardinals, who still have to face Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay before leaving Philadelphia.

Atlanta Braves
87-65
Remaining schedule: 1 vs. NYM, 3 @ FLA, 3 @ WAS, 3 vs. PHI
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 95.4 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
82-68, 4.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 @ PHI, 3 vs. NYM, 3 vs. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 3.2 percent

San Francisco Giants
82-70, 5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 @ COL, 3 @ LAD, 3 @ARI, 3 vs. COL
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 1.1 percent

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: September 16, 2011 11:25 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 11:33 pm
 

Playoff race: Cardinals gaining ground



By C. Trent Rosecrans

While most of the hype has surrounded the wild card race in the American League, the race to become the National League's fourth playoff team has gotten pretty interesting, too.

The Mets pounded Atlanta's Derek Lowe, lighting him up for six runs on nine hits in just 2 1/3 innings in an 11-2 victory for New York.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals overcame a potentially devastating error by Corey Patterson that tied the game in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Phillies 4-2 in Philadelphia in 11 innings, pulling St. Louis to within 3.5 games of the Braves.

Atlanta Braves
86-65
Remaining schedule: 2 vs. NYM, 3 @ FLA, 3 @ WAS, 3 vs. PHI
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 89.9 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
82-68, 3.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ PHI, 3 vs. NYM, 3 vs. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 8.1 percent

San Francisco Giants
81-70, 5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 @ COL, 3 @ LAD, 3 @ARI, 3 vs. COL
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 1.7 percent

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Playoff race: Cardinals make NL wild card a race


By Evan Brunell

The Cardinals are suddenly 5 1/2 games behind the Braves after Saturday night's victory. Coupled with the Rays downing the Red Sox to move to 4 1/2 back, and suddenly the wild card looks to be a race that could come down to the wire. It's no AL West, where the Angels are making the Rangers nervous, but it's welcome news after looking at the possibility of no races a scant couple weeks ago, unless you count the chase for the AL East crown. One shouldn't, as the wild card was easily in hand then.

It's not anymore, and the same is true for the NL where St. Louis could make things interesting down the stretch. The Braves have a slightly tougher schedule the rest of the way too, so can't even look to opponents to help them out after dropping 7 of their last 10. The Cardinals meanwhile, are streaking, having won four in a row and 7 of 10. Even Milwaukee is starting to feel the heat from the Redbirds, as the Brew Crew is 6 games ahead. Milwaukee has lost five straight.

Atlanta Braves
84-62
Remaining schedule: 1 @ STL, 3 vs. FLA, 3 vs. NYM, 3 @ FLA, 3 @ WAS, 3 vs. PHI
Coolstandings.com expectancy of winning wild card (prior to Sept. 10, so the gap has narrowed): 97.3 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
78-67, 4.5 games behind
Remaining schedule: 1 vs. ATL, 3 @ PIT, 4 @ PHI, 3 vs. NYM, 3 vs. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com expectancy of winning wild card: 2.4 percent

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Nick Punto, right, holds up the ball after staying on-base and forcing out Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman, left, at second during the sixth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
 
 
 
 
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