SB Nation Atlanta
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @sbnatlanta
Like us to subscribe
Jason Heyward is a finalist for the 2012 Hank Aaron Award, given to the most outstanding offensive player in each league.
Braves fans have been criticized before for not caring enough about October baseball. Does anyone care to revise that opinion now?
There are conflicting reports on whether Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann needs shoulder surgery.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen reacts after the Wild Card loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said based on the explanation he was given on Friday night's infield fly rule, he had a "legit beef" with the call.
Friday night's left field umpire Sam Holbrook defends applying the Infield Fly Rule in the Wild Card game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves.
The Atlanta Braves had a lot of opportunities to be in position to win Friday night's one-game Wild Card playoff with defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. Read what Jones had to say following the last game of his 19-year MLB career.
The Braves were on the wrong side of an infield fly call, but the simple fact is the club had more than enough chances to win.
The Atlanta Braves were the victims of a questionable call in the eighth inning of the NL Wild Card play-in game, but as Braves blog Talking Chop points out, a lot more than that went into deciding the game.
The Atlanta Braves finished their 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals under protest, stemming from an infield fly rule call in the bottom of the eighth inning. Major League Baseball has reportedly denied the protest, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN, making the St. Louis win official.
With two on and one out for Atlanta, Matt Holiday and Peter Kozma miscommunicated on a fly to shallow left, allowing the ball to fall between them:
The infield fly rule was called despite the depth of the play and the difficulty in making the catch. There was a lengthy delay in the game as Fredi Gonzales lodged his protest with the officials, and Atlanta fans did the same via throwing things onto the field. Jason Motte took over for St. Louis when the game resumed, and he was able to end the inning without the Braves scoring, and he closed the game in the same fashion.
Atlanta's protest was denied shortly after the game ended, ending the season for the Braves and sending St. Louis to the NLDS.
The Atlanta Braves lost the NL Wild Card play-in game to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night, 6-3. The Braves struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second, but St. Louis came back starting with three runs in the fourth, and Atlanta was never able to close the gap.
The Braves' best chance at a comeback came in the eighth, when a rally was disrupted by a bizarre infield fly rule call.
Matt Holliday and Peter Kozma both went for a ball in shallow left, and when Kozma made the call the infield fly rule was invoked. Kozma's placement when he made the catch was well out of the infield:
That led to a significant delay as Fredi Gonzales argued the call, then placed the game under protest. Displeased Atlanta fans littered the field with debris, resulting in further delay. Jason Motte entered for St. Louis as play finally resumed, and he walked the next batter to give the Braves the bases loaded with two outs. Michael Bourn came to the plate, but he struck out to end the inning and strand all three runners.
St. Louis went in order in the top of the ninth, leaving Atlanta's chances to Martin Prado, Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones. Motte got Prado on a groundout to second and Heyward on a flyout to left, leaving Chipper Jones at the plate with two outs. Jones, in what was likely his last at-bat, reached on a broken-bat infield single, extending the inning for the Braves. Freddie Freeman hit a ground-rule double to left center, briefly keeping the Braves alive, but Dan Uggla was unable to keep the rally going as he grounded out to end the game.
The Atlanta Braves trail the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 through eight innings in Friday night's NL Wild Card game. The Braves threatened in the eighth, but failed to capitalize thanks in part to a bizarre infield fly rule call.
The Braves struck first in the game, thanks to a two-run home run by catcher David Ross, but the Cardinals were able to respond with three runs in the fourth. St. Louis added a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. The Braves managed to narrow the gap with a run in the bottom half of the seventh and would have gotten more if Chipper Jones had been able to deliver a two-out hit with runners in scoring position.
The Cardinals threatened again in the eighth, putting two men on with one out, but a double play ended the inning. Atlanta rallied in the bottom half of the eighth and appeared to have the bases loaded with one out when a miscommunication by the Cardinals in shallow left allowed a ball to drop in. Matt Holliday and shortstop Peter Kozma ended up confused about who would take the ball, which allowed for the botched play. But the umpire in left field implemented the infield fly rule, and the batter was therefore out. Here's the position of the ball:
With the ball caught that far out of the infield, a significant delay resulted as Braves manager Fredi Gonzales first objected, then placed the game under protest. There was also time required to clear the field of debris, which had been thrown by Braves fans displeased with the infield fly rule call.
Play resumed with two outs and men on second and third, with Jason Motte on the mound for St. Louis. He issued a walk to Brian McCann to load the bases. Michael Bourn then came to the plate and worked a full count before striking out to end the inning.
Atlanta starting pitcher Kris Medlen left the game after 6-1/3 innings of work having allowed five runs, though only two were earned. St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse was replaced with two outs in the sixth.
The Cardinals took advantage of more throwing errors by Atlanta, as David Freese was able to make it to second on a throwing error by Dan Uggla to get the inning started. Freese was replaced by Adron Chambers, who was subsequently sacrificed over to third base by Daniel Descalso. Another throwing error -- this time by Andrelton Simmons -- allowed Chambers to score St. Louis' fifth run. Simmons' error, which came on a ground ball hit by Pete Kozma, allowed Kozma to advance into scoring position, and he scored on a Matt Carpenter infield hit.
The Cardinals take a four-run lead into the bottom half of the seventh, and both teams' starting pitchers have been removed from the contest. Lance Lynn took over for St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse, and the Braves finished the seventh with Jonny Venters on the mound.
With the St. Louis Cardinals holding a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, Kris Medlen was able to work a quick 1-2-3 inning. Peter Kozma grounded out to begin the inning. Kyle Lohse flew out to right field for the second out. Jon Jay then grounded out to second baseman Dan Uggla for the final out of the frame.
In the bottom of the fifth, Michael Bourn lined a ball up the middle, but Lohse managed to get his glove on it to knock it down and flip to first. Martin Prado and Jason Heyward both flew out for the second and third outs of the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Carlos Beltran flew out to center field to lead off the frame. Matt Holliday then hit a solo homer to left to give St. Louis a 4-2 lead. Allen Craig grounded out to shortstop for the second out, and Yadier Molina followed with a groundout to third.
In the bottom of the sixth, Chipper Jones popped out to second to begin the inning. Freddie Freeman singled to left-center field to put a runner on first. Dan Uggla hit a ball deep to left field, but it was caught just shy of the warning track.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny went to the mound and pulled Lohse in favor of Lance Lynn. David Ross hit a ball well to right-center field, but Carlos Beltran hauled it in on the warning track.
The Braves entered the third inning with a 2-0 lead off David Ross' two-run homer off Kyle Lohse. Kris Medlen struck out Peter Kozma to begin the inning. Lohse grounded out to shortstop Andrelton Simmons for the second out. Jon Jay popped out to Chipper Jones at third for the final out of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Michael Bourn led off the inning with a single up the middle. Atlanta was unable to do anything with it though; Martin Prado struck out, Jason Heyward flied out to shallow left field and Chipper Jones grounded out weakly to second.
In the top of the fourth, Carlos Beltran singled to right field for the Cardinals first hit. Matt Holliday grounded sharply to third, and Jones' wild throw on the double play attempt sailed into right field. With runners on the corner, Allen Craig doubled to left to cut the lead to 2-1. Yadier Molina grounded out to plate the tying run. David Freese then hit a sac fly to bring home Craig from third, giving the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Freddie Freeman singled to begin the frame. Dan Uggla grounded out to move Freeman into second. David Ross then laid down a bunt single to put runners on the corner. Andrelton Simmons laid down a bunt and was hit by the throw to first, but Simmons was ruled out of the baseline. Medlen then struck out to end the inning.
The game is currently being aired on TBS and on ESPN Radio.
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina hit a long fly ball to right field in the second inning of Friday's Wild Card game, but Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward kept it from leaving the yard with a leaping catch at the wall. Here's a gif of the defensive play:
The home run would have given the Cardlinals the early 1-0 lead in this win-or-go-home game; Braves starter Kris Medlen was able to settle down from there and get his team out of the inning without any more close calls. The Braves claimed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a David Ross home run to left center field. Dan Uggla had been on first after walking.
Atlanta has two hits on the afternoon, while the St. Louis Cardinals remain shut out in that category. Medlen has struck out four batters and walked none through three innings of work.
In the top of the first, Kris Medlen struck out Jon Jay to begin the game on three pitches. He then struck out Carlos Beltran with a belt-high changeup that was whiffed on. He hit Matt Holliday in the elbow with a pitch, but then forced Allen Craig to ground out weakly to shortstop Andrelton Simmons to end the inning.
In the top of the second, Heyward made an incredible home-run saving catch at the right field wall. Battling the sun in right field, J-Hey jumped at the wall and snagged the ball, keeping the score at 0-0. Medlen then got the next two batters to end the frame.
In the second, Lohse struck out Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman. Dan Uggla drew a walk, which brought up David Ross. With a 1-2 count, Lohse began his motion, but Ross was granted timeout by home plate umpire at the final second. Lohse was unhappy. The next pitch was a changeup down the middle of the plate, which Ross sent over the left field wall for a two-run homer.
Braves lead 2-0 entering the third.
The game is currently being aired live on TBS and on ESPN Radio.
Baseball Nation weighs in with their predictions for the 2012 playoffs. Three writers have the A's winning it all, so check it out see see how the Braves and the rest of the field shake out.
Chipper Jones could be playing in the last game of his career and he isn't even nervous about it.
The Atlanta Braves have announced their 25-man roster for Friday's Wild Card game against the St. Louis Cardinals, and they'll be deploying nine pitchers (three of whom are starters), three catchers, eight infielders and five outfielders.
With a win, the Braves advance to face the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series, at which time they'll be able to set a brand new 25-man roster, thus the lack of need for many starting pitchers and the extra room for utility players for Friday's game. A loss ends the Braves' season.
Tim Hudson, Mike Minor and Friday's starter Kris Medlen are the starting pitchers Atlanta has on their roster for Friday. The relievers include Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters, Eric O'Flaherty, Cory Gearrin, Luis Avilan and Chad Durbin.
The catchers are J.C. Boscan, Brian McCann and Friday's starter David Ross. Infielders are Jeff Baker, Freddie Freeman, Eric Hinske, Chipper Jones, Lyle Overbay, Tyler Pastornicky, Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla. The outfield includes Michael Bourn, Jose Constanza, Jason Heyward, Reed Johnson and Martin Prado.
McCann will be available as a left-handed bat off the bench and backup catcher, which is likely why left-handed-hitting third baseman Juan Francisco was left off the roster. The Braves also have Overbay and Hinske available as left-handed hitters off the bench.
Friday's game is set for 5:05 p.m. ET and will be televised by TBS.
MLB.com is offering affordable companion coverage of most playoff games
The Atlanta Braves are listed at 10-to-1 to win the World Series
An in-depth look at Kris Medlen and Kyle Lohse, the starters in Friday's NL Wild Card game.
All the information you'll need for Friday's Wild Card showdown between the Braves and Cardinals.
The Braves just finished a thoroughly satisfying season. Whatever happens today and in the days that follow, we should not lose sight of that fact.
When St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse last faced the Atlanta Braves, he gave up a couple of home runs. He thinks the Braves may have known what was coming because he may have tipped his pitches.
SB Nation's MLB editor Rob Neyer writes that history won't remember Kris Medlen's season because he hasn't played enough innings for his astounding statistics to qualify for the records. But for those who paid attention, here's some perspective.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen hasn't lost in his last 23 starts, so there's no wonder why he enters every contest with a positive attitude.
The MLB Network analyst and former MLB star talked about the importance of avoiding distractions in a win-or-go-home playoff game.
Fredi Gonzalez has announced his starting nine for Friday's wild card game. He elected to go with David Ross over Brian McCann behind the plate.
Kris Medlen and the Braves have a big challenge awaiting them on Friday night as the Cardinals come to town.
Wild Card winners Atlanta and St. Louis meet Friday in a one-game playoff.
Fredi Gonzalez has some tough decisions to make as he narrows his roster down to 25 players. The Braves and Cardinals are set for a one-game playoff on Friday night.