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Braves errors, a bad call by an umpire, and poor situational hitting doomed Atlanta as they fall to the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card game.
The winner-take-all Wild Card game did not go the way that the Atlanta Braves or Chipper Jones had envisioned it. The first and critical blow came in the fourth inning, as a double-play chance was thrown into left field by Jones, eventually resulting in two unearned runs.
The errors weren't over for the Braves, as bobbles and wide throws by both Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons in the seventh inning cost the Braves two more unearned runs. Those errors chased starting pitcher Kris Medlen, who only allowed three hits and no walks in six and a third innings. He deserved a better fate for his quality outing.
To add insult to injury, another horrible call by an umpire in a Braves playoff game possibly cost the Braves some runs. In the eighth inning, a pop-up behind third base by Andrelton Simmons fell between the Cardinal infielder and outfielder. It would have loaded the bases, but the left field umpire called the infield fly rule.
A huge argument by Fredi Gonzalez ensued, but the umpires would not reverse their call. Fredi indicated that the Braves were filing an official protest. In the meantime the Turner Field crowd peppered the field with bottles and cans, causing a delay of almost 20 minutes.
The controversy of the bad call may overshadow everything else in the game, but the Braves -- the best defensive team in the NL during the regular season -- lost this contest because of bad defense. They also repeated a refrain heard throughout the season by leaving 12 runners on base throughout the game.
The Braves jumped out to the first lead of the day on a David Ross two-run home run in the second inning. It was part of a three-hit day by Ross. Freddie Freeman also had three hits. A pinch-hit triple by Jose Constanza in the seventh led to a third run for the Braves. But rallies were killed in the eighth and ninth innings, as Atlanta couldn't muster a comeback.
Chipper Jones went 1-for-5 on the day, and collected a broken bat infield hit in his final at-bat.
The Braves out-hit the Cardinals 12-to-6, but Braves errors and poor situational hitting doomed the team.
A complete inning by inning recap of the game can be found within this StoryStream.