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The National League Wild Card race is getting interesting

Sep 17, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Fernando Salas, Yadier Molina

Much of the focus has been on the American League Wild Card, and understandably so given that the Red Sox are involved, but the Wild Card race in the National League is becoming more intriguing by the day.

The Cardinals won again last night, 4-2 over the Phillies in 11 innings, giving them their third straight victory and their eighth in their last nine. Meanwhile, the Braves were hammered by the Mets 12-2 at Turner Field.

The surging Cardinals now find themselves 3 1/2 games back of the Braves for the Wild Card and just three games back in the loss column. Just to show you how quickly things have tightened up here, the Braves held an 8 1/2 game lead on September 5.

So here’s the deal: The Braves’ magic number to clinch the Wild Card remains at nine. The Braves have 11 games left on the schedule while the Cardinals will play 12 more. I don’t want Craig to be miserable or anything, but some late-September drama would be a lot of fun.

  1. prionogenic - Sep 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    It’s just too bad that they don’t have any more games together so that there would be a more fair way to settle the race

    • hotkarlsandwich - Sep 17, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Your comment makes zero sense. The Cardinals are still 5-1 against the Braves this year. Even with another series the Cardinals would still end up winning the head to head matchup.

    • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Sep 17, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      I think the point was that if they played each other, the Cards could take the playoff spot away from the Braves by beating them themselves, or the Braves could clinch it against their closest competitor instead of leaving it up to other teams. That was my translation, anyway.

  2. gallaghedj311 - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Nooooooo! Screw the Cards. I need the phightins vs ARI and Brewers vs ATL. damn cardinals threatening to screw this up. I wanna hear Craig pout when the braves get swept…..

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      ” I need the phightins vs ARI and Brewers vs ATL”

      Why do you need these team matchups? Do you have money on this?

      • gogigantos - Sep 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        without much confidence just at the moment, but, strange things in strange light,, you should fear a Giant rematch ye arm muscle

  3. halladaysbiceps - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    This race is the reason why another wild card addition is unnecessary. I recall over a month ago all the pundits saying that all of the major races were over and we wouldn’t have any excitement in the month of September. Then there were outcrys to add another wild card team. Well, we still have things undecided on 9-17-11. Anything can happen.

  4. aceshigh11 - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Pujols is finally batting over .300 and is almost at 100 RBIs. The guy is a pure machine…it’s frightening.

    • hotkarlsandwich - Sep 17, 2011 at 4:47 PM

      But not worthy of a All-Star bid this year.. Complete BS

  5. daspurtitan - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    as a braves fan. i am willing to trade derek lowe for a used condom.

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      I think that’s an unfair trade and no sane GM would do it. A used condom has more worth than Lowe.

      • daspurtitan - Sep 17, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        yeah your right. haha.

      • Old Gator - Sep 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        Whatever you do, don’t give it to Chipper Jones. His leak like a sieve already.

  6. Reggie's Bush - Sep 17, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I would like both the Braves and the BoSox to lose their wildcard spots just so people can lump in some more collapses besides 2007 Mets.

    Is that selfish of me?

  7. gogigantos - Sep 17, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    win out, climb over two and see you in October,,,,
    still dreaming the Defending dream

  8. tomemos - Sep 17, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    I’m a tiny bit surprised there’s no mention of the Giants here–not that I think they’re likely to win out, but I think their presence does make the race that little bit more interesting.

    • Old Gator - Sep 17, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      Yes, the way the discovery of a floating corpse kicks off an episode of Columbo.

      • gogigantos - Sep 17, 2011 at 5:37 PM

        In the end, only one left standing,,,,, still Defending and not done yet,,,, fear ye all none believers,,,,,,,,
        prefer evil genius over simple genius any day o the week

  9. xmatt0926x - Sep 17, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    The braves better not count on Philly’s help tonight. Oswalt has been very mediocre/poor lately. He may get rocked tonight.

    • journeyfan99 - Sep 17, 2011 at 7:48 PM

      BUT…Phillies finally have the lineup they are counting on for the playoffs….first time together since August 5th

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 17, 2011 at 10:35 PM

      The braves better not count on Philly’s help tonight. Oswalt has been very mediocre/poor lately. He may get rocked tonight.

      So… is that crow you’re eating any good?

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