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Braves Clinch Wild Card Berth With Win Over Phillies and Padres Loss

The Braves have officially earned a Wild Card berth into the playoffs since the San Diego Padres have lost to the San Fransisco Giants 3-0 on the season's final day. The Braves beat the Phillies 8-7 earlier this afternoon, putting the pressure back on the Padres.

This means the Braves are in the playoffs for the first time since 2005. In both Bobby Cox's and Billy Wagner's final season, the Braves have entered the playoffs and are vying for their first World Series title since 1995. They will play the Giants in the first round, which will begin on Thursday night.

The Giants will throw Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Barry Zito out in the first three games of the series. The Braves will counter with Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, and Tim Hudson. Both teams boast stellar starting staffs and great bullpens, so there shouldn't be many high scoring games in this series.

Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves on a hard fought season. They battled through injuries and new player acquisitions to get here. Although winning the division would have been nice, coming away with the Wild Card certainly does not hinder their chances at advancing further in the post-season.

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