Jason Heyward and the Braves are frustrated right now. They still hold a 1.5 game lead in the NL Wild Card race, but have to face a team in the Nationals that plays the Braves tough and the Phillies who are hold the best record in baseball.
That series didn't exactly go as Atlanta and we as fans would have hoped. With the problematic Nationals and the Phillies coming up, the Braves could have done with more than just one win in three games against the Fish. In the same time that St. Louis won all three games, the Braves lost two games to fall to just 1.5 games up in the NL Wild Card Race.
Monday night's game was one of the more devastating losses that a team in the heart of a playoff race could experience. After rallying back from a 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead, the Braves' bread and butter, O'Ventbrel, let them down for a second straight day. Craig Kimbrel got some hard luck on a routine chopper to Chipper Jones that could have ended the game, but then gave up a long walk-off homer to former Braves singles hitter, Omar Infante. The Cardinals beat the Phillies by a score of 4-3 on Monday, cutting the Braves lead from 3.5 to 2.5 games.
Tuesday was great. Despite leaving a slew of runners on base and hitting just 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position, the Braves came away with a 4-0 win. Randall Delgado showed guts in performing tremendously in the biggest start of his young career. At the same time, St. Louis was doing work against everyone's favorite Mets franchise, winning 11-6 and keeping the Braves lead at just 2.5 games.
And last night, the Braves got a solid performance from Derek Lowe. They needed a stellar performance though, as Javy Vazquez is arguably the hottest pitcher in the game right now. Aside from a big double from Jason Heyward, a long fly out by Dan Uggla, and a slapped line drive on a two-seamer off of the plate by Prado, Vazquez really gave up nothing to the Braves. Meanwhile, the Cardinals staged a late game comeback against the Metropolitans to win 6-5 and cut the lead to 1.5 games.
The Braves still have a lead folks, but we can only hope that the team gets hot against some formidable foes to gather some momentum heading into/making the playoffs. It appears that the Cardinals aren't going to cool off anytime soon.