The Braves were up 10.5 games ahead of St. Louis (which is more games than the Red Sox were leading by) on Aug. 26. The Braves still had a 8.5 game lead over the Cardinals on Sept. 6. Instead of hanging on, and gutting it out for the rest of the season, the Braves fell hard in the month of September. The Atlanta Braves are now the first team in MLB history to drop an eight-game lead for a playoff spot in September.

Of course, as is the case for all losing sports teams, the questions are starting to come out: who is to blame? Was it the blown lead in St. Louis earlier in the month that lead to the sweep? Was it Chipper Jones that lost the game-ending grounder in Florida? Or, was it just that the Braves lost 18 games in September (which resulted in a sweep to St. Louis at the end of the season)?

Regardless of all that, the Braves still could have gotten the NL Wild Card spot by winning last night. What’s more, they were even winning the game going into the ninth. Dan Uggla hit a two-run homer that put the Braves up 3-2. In the bottom of the ninth, Atlanta’s dynamite rookie closer Craig Kimbrel (who had 46 saves on the season) came in to close up the game. However, Kimbrel let the pressure of the moment get to him and wasn’t even close to what he used to be. Kimbrel put runners in scoring position and gave up a sacrifice fly to Chase Utley.

After that, Kimbrel was gone. With the score tied 3-3 Kris Medlen came in to try and notch one in the win column. Medlen had only pitched in one big-league game since having Tommy John surgery. Despite that, he got the final out in the ninth and sent the game to extra innings. The game moved to the 13th inning with Scott Linebrink on the mound for Atlanta.

Linebrink got in trouble by walking Brian Schneider (who hits a paltry .176), got Jimmy Rollins to fly out, but Utley grounded a 3-2 pitch for a single to keep the Cardinal’s hopes alive. Last, Hunter Pence blooped an infield single in the sweet spot right down the first base line right before the outfield grass. That knocked in the winning run for the Phillies and sent the Braves back to Atlanta early.

Murphy’s Law was alive on Wednesday night and the Braves, along with the Red Sox, were the victims.

About the Author
Jordan Freis is a freelance writer for a site that helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.