HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 28: Matt Holliday , left, of the St. Louis Cardinals pours champagne over Chris Carpenter as they celebrate winning the National League Wildcard at Minute Maid Park on September 28, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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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22 Total Updates since September 28, 2011
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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.

 

Kimbrel_francisco_medium

 

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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