2011 MLB Season Boils Down to a Matter of Minutes – Cardinals and Braves

Hunter Pence came through with a two-out, run-scoring single in the 13th to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 4-3 victory that ended Atlanta’s season Wednesday night without a trip to the playoffs that looked like a certainty just a few weeks ago.  Surely this is sweet revenge for the Phillies team that had to endure 13 straight NL East titles from the Braves not too long ago.

St. Louis routed the Astros 8-0 to do their part to at least secure a 1 game playoff if needed.  The Braves unprecedented collapse however was complete.  They were 10 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis before play on Aug. 26. They were still up by 8 1/2 games on the morning of Sept. 6. Instead of popping champagne for a second straight trip to the playoffs, they became the first team in major league history to squander a lead of at least eight games for a playoff spot in September.

The Braves lost 5 straight to end the season and went 9-18 in the month of September.

The Phillies are off to the playoffs after a 102-win regular season, the most in franchise history.  They certainly had something to play for the final game of the season despite already securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs and World Series.  With the exception of Shane Victorino, the Phillies used all of their regular starters.  The Phillies knew that heading into the postseason playing their starters is key because most regular players don’t like to rest too many days losing a rhythm.

The Phillies will host the Cardinals on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park with a time to be determined.

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