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Braves Earn At Least Share Of Wild Card, Beat Phillies 8-7

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In a wild game and a wild season, the Braves have earned the right to play at least one more game. If the Padres win, they will play the loser of a Padres vs. Giants one game playoff on Tuesday night. If the Padres lose, the Braves will play the Giants in the division series. Here's a part of the recap I wrote for Talking Chop:

Tim Hudson threw seven masterful innings, allowing just two hits in his outing. Both hits were two-run homers, but thankfully the offense was able to come together to back Hudson. Every starter had a hit, and each had an RBI aside from Brian McCann and Rick Ankiel. Omar Infante and Jason Heyward both had huge triples, andDerrek Lee blasted a solo shot to extend the lead to 6-2. Brooks Conrad had two RBI hits and played a solid second base.

Jonny Venters entered the eighth inning and allowed a single to Jimmy Rollins. The following play, Mike Sweeney hit a line drive that got through Infante's legs. The Braves then brought in Billy Wagner for the four out save. The first batter he faced, Wilson Valdez, battled through a tough at bat and singled in a run. Ben Fransisco followed with a two-RBI double, making the score 8-7.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Braves loaded the bases with one out only to see Alex Gonzalez ground into a 6-4-3 double play. At this point, I was admittedly nervous. Wagner did not look his best and the tables seemed to have turned. Thankfully, Wagner came through in the ninth in dominant fashion. Wagner struck out the side, including two nasty sliders to catch Shane Victorino and Brian Schneider looking.

 

We'll keep you updated on the happenings of the Giants and Padres game. This was simply a tremendous way to send both Bobby Cox and Billy Wagner out in what is hopefully their last regular season game ever.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.