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Thursday, September 22, 2011

NL Wildcard race: September 21, 2011

ATL 88-68 [8-13 in SEPT]
STL 86-69 [14-5 in SEPT] (1.5 GB)
SFG 84-71 [12-6 in SEPT] (3.5 GB)

MLB.com: Lowe solid, but Braves stifled by Vazquez

[Javier] Vazquez extended a dominant run that extends back to June and made Derek Lowe pay for the few mistakes he made as the Marlins claimed a 3-0 win over the Braves at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday night.

MLB.com: Freese’s big day helps Cards close on Braves
MLB.com: Giants 8, Dodgers 5

NTNgod Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:40 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, cardinals, game recaps, giants

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Pujols Shot Ya Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:55 AM (#3932779)
Hoooooooooooray! We're through the looking glass people!
   2. Austin Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:47 AM (#3932823)
Wow, this looks like it might actually happen.
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:22 AM (#3932840)
The Braves collapsed at the end of last season too and only made it because the Padres out-collapsed them.

One back in the loss column is nothing with how hot the Cards are.
   4. Mike A Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:31 AM (#3932849)
Braves were playing over their heads for a while, Cards were playing under. The two teams are pretty close in talent and it's evening out.

It's weird, the Braves are still technically the favorites, but everyone (including me) is assuming the Cards are going to win it.

I'm just going to crawl into bed with a bottle of Amaretto until the season is over. It's easier that way.
   5. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:33 AM (#3932853)
One back in the loss column is nothing with how hot the Cards are.


And how weak their remaining schedule is.

And to think they're doing it without the day-in, day-out contributions of the incredible Colby Rasmus.
   6. rr Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:18 AM (#3932864)
If bunyon wore pants, he'd be pissing them.
   7. Curtis Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:44 AM (#3932869)
If the Cards cut it to one tomorrow, that Cubs / Cards series in STL is going to be heated.
   8. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM (#3932897)
Wait, I'm supposed to piss them WHILE I'm wearing them? I've just been walking over to the laundry basket and taking aim.

Huh. Them Sox fans are gross.
   9. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM (#3932899)
I think MikeA has it right. The Braves played well above themselves for much of this season. Coming into the season, I didn't think the Braves would be close to the playoffs. Well, more accurately, I wouldn't have said they'd be close to the Cardinals, who I expected to win the Central. Thus, it isn't too surprising that with just a few games to go, they're close. The path has been disappointing, of course, but it has been a far better season than I'd initially hoped for. Must be why I'm not too upset.

Of course, we haven't actually blown the lead yet. Perhaps I'll feel it worse when/if it actually happens.


Also by the way, did anyone else have the feeling, while watching the game, that if they were given 5 minutes to loosen up, they could hit line drives at will off Lowe? Sheesh, he looks like a dying man on the mound.
   10. Justin T Posted: September 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM (#3932908)
Figures. The team I want to blow it won't, and the team I want to hang on won't.

Hockey starts in 2 weeks. Oh wait, the Bruins are defending champs all year. God...
   11. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#3932942)
For some odd reason, I don't hear Hutcheson's big mouth around here too much lately...
   12. Sweatpants Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#3932960)
Also by the way, did anyone else have the feeling, while watching the game, that if they were given 5 minutes to loosen up, they could hit line drives at will off Lowe? Sheesh, he looks like a dying man on the mound.
Chip Caray called Lowe's exit from the game like this: "Derek Lowe did not pitch poorly" (or something like that). He said it as if it were some kind of triumph.
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:04 PM (#3933012)
For some odd reason, I don't hear Hutcheson's big mouth around here too much lately...
Not hard to understand why nobody likes Joe.
   14. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3933057)
Chip Caray called Lowe's exit from the game like this: "Derek Lowe did not pitch poorly" (or something like that). He said it as if it were some kind of triumph.

The Derek Lowe Era everybody! Still another year at $15 million to go!
   15. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: September 22, 2011 at 09:46 PM (#3933411)
Cardinals are up 4-1 on the Mets.

Looks like it's going to be 1 game back.

Strangely, this doesn't seem to be getting anything like the attention that the Red Sox semi-collapse is garnering.

Hmmmm, I wonder why ...
   16. Mike A Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM (#3933428)
Relying on the Mets to win is like relying on Lindsey Lohan to stay sober.

Braves need to take care of business in Washington.
   17. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM (#3933451)
It does seem weird that this race has gotten so close, and yet this thread only drew a handful of posts, while the AL threads get hundreds of posts nightly.
   18. Srul Itza Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3933454)
If you're looking for a clutch story line for St. Loo, consider Albert's September slash line:

.427/.464/.653/1.118
   19. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#3933459)
6-2 Cards in the 8th. Two weeks ago, I had written off this season completely.
   20. AJMcCringleberry Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM (#3933460)
Well, at least the Mets sucking is hurting the Braves.
   21. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:58 PM (#3933475)
Man, Motte looks like he ought to be an extra for a Civil War Re-enactor's society ...
   22. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:59 PM (#3933476)
Oh god, let me comment, lest Joey feel something less than utterly, vapidly stupid.

"OH NOES! WE MAY LOSE THE WILDCARD!! HOW WILLZ I EVAH SUHVIVE?!"
   23. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:09 PM (#3933486)
6-4 Mets, sweating time in S.L.
   24. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:11 PM (#3933488)
Ah, Ruben's a little overanxious.
   25. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:13 PM (#3933493)
Wow.

6-6.

HELL of a game.
   26. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM (#3933495)
As I've said before, Ruben Tejada is my new Benny Agbayani.
   27. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:19 PM (#3933503)
Apparently it's true: no one wants either wild card. Let's just have a round robin first round among division winners.
   28. NTNgod Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#3933509)
These last few innings aren't really the best time for the Cards' early-season bugaboos of shaky defense and bullpen work to rear their heads once more....
   29. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:23 PM (#3933512)
And now the Cards have to try and mount a comeback with Craig, Berkman, Freese, and Jay all out of the game. Punto batting in Berkman's spot.


...and Descalso is in Freese's spot.
   30. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:25 PM (#3933515)
Well, at least the Mets sucking is hurting the Braves.

well there is that.


I think MikeA has it right. The Braves played well above themselves for much of this season. Coming into the season, I didn't think the Braves would be close to the playoffs. Well, more accurately, I wouldn't have said they'd be close to the Cardinals, who I expected to win the Central.


Actually I think the Braves have on the whole underplayed and the Cardinals over.
Prado OPS+ 93 (career 109)
Uggla 107 (worst of his career)
McLouth 89 (Career 102, I thought he'd bounce back this year- actually he did- just not nearly enough)
Jason Heyward... 97- I thought we'd be seeing a 150 or something (ok that may be unfair given his age and all)

I really don't see any position player with substantial PT who has played above expectations, some are roughly at expectations, McCann, Chipper, AGonz... and a bunch are below.
same thing with the pitchers

This is Lowe's worst year as a starter
This is Hanson's worst year
This is just another year for Hudson, not his best, not his worst,
It's a nice bounce back for Jair- but not his best either

The Pen may be overperforming a bit, but on the whole?

Now look at the Cardinals
YMolina at 121???
Holliday 154- yes he's good, but that's a career high
Berkman 169- He's 35, and yes he is Lance Berkman- but that is a career high

Jon Jay* 116
David Freese 116
Allen Craig 138
Rafael Furcal# 105
Nick Punto# 114
(That's 1361 PA of 117 OPS+ performance- FROM THE BENCH)
ok Pujols is off a tad, but on the whole, this lineup is exceeding expectations
   31. phredbird Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:30 PM (#3933523)
*opens mlb player after being busy all afternoon, sees last out, throws chair*
   32. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:46 PM (#3933553)
####### ############# ####### ####
   33. Textbook Editor Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#3933565)
Wow... just wow.
   34. Lassus Posted: September 23, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#3933612)
The Mets can't even fold properly.

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