Cardinals Win The NL Wild Card; Braves Lose In 13th Inning

With a win and an Atlanta Braves loss, the St. Louis Cardinals won the 2011 NL Wild Card.

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Phillies Vs. Braves: Kimbrel Blows Save, Phillies Tie Game At 3-3

Not all one-run saves are created equal. Craig Kimbrel got to face the Phillies 7-8-9 hitters. Hey, that's not fair! But it was in a one-run game, with the entire freaking season on the line. No pressure, rookie! Don't think about how you were getting ready for homecoming five years ago. You're a closer now.

Just to make things interesting, Placido Polanco led off the ninth with a single to right field. Carlos Ruiz got Kimbrel to a 3-2 count before striking out on a ridiculous, high, and ridiculous fastball at 96-mph. The strikeout was Kimbrel's 5,000th of his career. Congratulations, Craig Kimbrel!

But Ben Francisco worked out an impressive walk.

 

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So, so close, those pitches, but Francisco either a) used a good eye to lay off, or b) said, "Screw this. I can't hit these." We're not here to judge. 

Then Jimmy Rollins worked out a walk to load the bases for Chase Utley. Credit Charlie Manuel for keeping Utley in until the end of the game, and Utley tied the game with a sacrifice fly on a 100-mph fastball.

The Braves were three outs away from playing past their 162nd game. Now things are a little fuzzy. 

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