Maybe if the Phillies hadn’t choked away the last two games while the Braves were beating up on the Marlins… Maybe if the Braves hadn’t gotten swept by the Brewers… Maybe if Fredi had pulled the plug on Jair Jurrjens a little sooner…
Well, the Braves are four games back in the division with five to play. So we’re the first wild card, and we’ll play the play-in game in a week with Kris Medlen starting against the Cardinals. I like his chances against anyone, but it’s a single game: anything can happen. To paraphrase Matthew McConnaughey, it would have been much cooler if we’d won the division.
Anyway, Tim Hudson pitched well. He gave up a 3-run homer that was the dagger, but really that’s it. He needed just 86 pitches to get through 7 innings, giving up five hits and getting 4 stirkeouts against just 1 walk. And that one three-run homer to Lucas Duda with two strikes and two outs in the 7th inning that if he had gotten out of it, it still would have been 1-0 Braves. Cristhian Martinez threatened giving up a lot more than that, but Cory Gearrin came in to get a crucial double play and then stuck in to pitch a perfect 9th.
But Jon Niese is left-handed, and he pretty much always kills us; coming into the game, he had a 3.15 ERA against us in 11 starts — that’s about the same as Cliff Lee’s 3.08 ERA in 10 starts — so naturally the Braves did absolutely nothing. If it weren’t for Freddie Freeman’s solo shot in the 4th, we would have been shut out.
Losing to the Mets sucks. We’re in the play-in game, and if we could have battled back to win the division we would have been in the NLDS. But what the hell. Bring on the Cardinals!