Blog Entry

Playoff race: Giants slip in wild card chase

Posted on: September 21, 2011 1:04 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 1:06 am

By Evan Brunell

In the AL wild card chase, both the Rays and Red Sox lost, but Tampa Bay ended up losing ground in playoff odds because there is now one less game for the Rays to catch Boston.

A similar story evolved Tuesday night in the NL, except the two teams battling for the wild card both won. The Braves have been dropping like flies lately, frittering away a 10 1/2 game lead on August 25 and losing 12 of their last 18 before emerging victorious against the Marlins.

"Tonight was a big game," Braves catcher Brian McCann told the Associated Press. "There are always teams fighting for that playoff spot; that's why this time of year is the best time in sports. We sit at the top of the wild card. We've just got to continue to win games."

The Cardinals have to continue winning games too, if they hope to overtake Atlanta. Due to both teams winning, the Cards didn't gain any ground beyond the 2 1/2 game deficit entering the day, but with one less game to stun the Braves by taking the wild card, their chances took a hit. The Cards would seem to have an edge in their remaining schedule, but the Braves will be catching the Phillies in postseason preparation mode, so that could work in Atlanta's favor.

Meanwhile, the Giants' eight-game winning streak was snapped, which all but slams the door shut on their late bid for the wild card.

Atlanta Braves
Remaining schedule: 1 @ FLA, 3 @ WAS, 3 v. PHI expectancy of wild card: 80 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
85-69, 2.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 v. NYM, 3 v. CHC, 3 @ HOU expectancy of wild card: 17.9 percent

San Francisco Giants
83-71, 4.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 @ LAD, 3 @ ARI, 3 v. COL expectancy of wild card: 1.8 percent

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Alex Gonzalez (2) is met by Jason Heyward, right, after hitting a solo home run in the second inning during a baseball game against the Florida Marlins in Miami, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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Playoff race: Giants slip in wild card chase

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