Blog Entry

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

Posted on: September 25, 2011 5:25 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 4:27 pm

By Evan Brunell

Enter Rafael Furcal as hero, with the shortstop's solo blast in the bottom eighth sending the Cards to victory. After defeating the Cubs 3-2, St. Louis has now improbably trimmed Atlanta's wild-card lead to just one game after the Braves had a 10 1/2-game lead at one point in late August.

Furcal has been a major part of St. Louis' resurgence, although his time with the Cards got off to a shaky start thanks to poor production and injuries. But from August 31 coming into Sunday, Furcal was hitting .270/.343/.472, strong numbers. While Furcal isn't the only reason for St. Louis' 17-7 record in that timespan, he's certainly a big part of it.

The Braves... what else can be said, really? The Nationals have been hot in September, but the Braves couldn't even muster a run off of Ross Detwiler and Co., amassing just four hits. Just like the Red Sox, the Braves seem to be crumbling under the weight of a major collapse.

"We know what's at stake. We know what every game means," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Associated Press prior to the game. "You've got to go out and play the game with some fun. We can't play with white knuckles on the bat and hold the ball so hard you can't throw it."

Atlanta Braves
Remaining schedule: 3 v. PHI expectancy of wild card: 75.4 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
88-71, 1 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ HOU expectancy of wild card: 24.6 percent

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 12:51 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 5:29 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:47 pm

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

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Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: September 26, 2011 11:37 am

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

Hey...maybe the Braves will join my Mets watching the playoffs...used that bullpens too much throughout the year. Kimball should never have closed that many games.. Venters is on fumes the Braves are paying the price...and will people stop blaming Heyward...he is a young kid who has produced and will be better in time. Chipper wasn't that great in his first 2 years either but got better as he matured. Braves have no bench and it is showing when the everyday players are tired some of your young pitching ( and no one wants Lowe now) for some good hitters. If you horde all that good pitching, you will be the same next year too..bridesmaid

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:59 am

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

Now that the Cards will win the WC (Tomorrow night or Wenesday at the latest), we can look ahead to a Phillies/Cards playoff.  Since they have clinched the Philllies have played mediocre at best.  To the Phillies,  these remaining game have been like spring training.  Assuming they can get back into mid-season form, I predict the Phillies will beat the Cards in 4. If, the Phillies do not get back to mid-season form, I predict that the Cards will win in five. I see the Brewers beating the Diamondbacks in 4. If the Cards beat the Phillies, I see the Cards beating the Brewers in 7. 

In the AL, I see the Red Sox hanging on to win the WC.  I see the Rangers beating the Red Sox in 4 and the Yankees beating the Tigers in 5.  I see the Yankees beating the Rangers in 6 and ultimately, the Cards beating the Yankees in 7.   To those who may disagree, I encourage your informed and reasoned response.  After all, this is only one man's opinion.    &nb

Ps.  I've been a Braves fan for decades and am most disappointed in the Braves poor hitting.  A few weeks ago, the pitching took a major blow with the injuries to Jurrgens and Hanson.  But, they're not hitting either.  Their toast. On the positive side, they've given the Atlanta fans a fun season.  They need to retool the starting pitching staff (get rid of Derek Lowe), get healthy and do someting with Heyward. This business of playing Heyward everyday and the attitude of trying to make him a star at any cost has severly hurt the Braves' offense.  Bourn is great and should be resigned to a multi year deal. Freeman was great until he wore down, the same with McCann, Prado and Gonzalez. Although Uggla started out slow, he more than redeemed himself. Had he not started hitting, the team would not be even close to where it will apparently finish.    Vent
ers, Kimbrel and O'Flerety  (sp?) were truly amazing. But the rest of the bullpen (especially Linebrink) was at best mediocre. 

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:17 am

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

I would be careful crowning the Cards the WC champs yet.  They looked less than good against the Cubs at home.  It took a late inning come back on Sunday from an unlikely source.  Then on Saturday they lucked out against Marmol because he can't throw strikes.  Now they have to go to Houston who would love to be the spoiler.  I do think the cards have the better remaining schedule and the momentum, but they are still down a game with 3 games left.  I think at best, there will be tie.

Since: Aug 17, 2010
Posted on: September 26, 2011 3:13 am

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

Good year Braves, but in the end the better team will be going to the playoffs, the CARDS!!!  Cards will easily sweep the lowly Astros and the Phillies will take 2 out of 3 against the Braves who cant hit anymore.  

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: September 25, 2011 11:29 pm

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

And FURCAL use to PLAY for the BRAVOS!

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2011 10:04 pm

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

Man, I feel like my Bravos are screwed.  We have a lot to build on for next year though.  At least it was a fun season.

Since: Mar 27, 2007
Posted on: September 25, 2011 9:16 pm

Furcal bomb lifts Cards to one behind Braves

Yeah, really. You'd think with this being a front page article on CBSSports, and with the article being about an incredibly tight wildcard race, CBS would at least get the teams right. The Cardinals played the Cubs, the Astros played the Rockies.  At least they got one thing right...the Astros lost, only it was 19-3 to the Rockies. LOL

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or