News and notes from the playoff chase:
- Philadelphia has pushed Atlanta to the brink of playoff extinction, dumptrucking Derek Lowe and the Braves, 7-1, at Turner Field to send Atlanta tumbling into a tie for the Wild Card lead. The win -- the Fightin's' 101st on the year -- tied the Phillies' franchise record for wins in a season. Meanwhile, the Braves are still looking for their 90th win on the year, and they'll turn to Tim Hudson tonight to try to preserve their playoff hopes.
- The Wild Card race is tied this morning because St. Louis survived a stomach punch from the Astros -- and the loss of outfielder Matt Holliday, and the continued absence of shortstop Rafael Furcal -- to claim a 13-6 laugher at Minute Maid Park. Tonight, the Cards give the ball to Chris Carpenter in their final push to the postseason.
- The story of the day, though, isn't the Wild Card race -- at least, it's not the story around these parts. Instead, the focus is on Arizona's incredible comeback win last night: trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning, with two men down and nobody on, the Snakes somehow rallied for a 7-6 win over the Dodgers. The lunacy started when L.A. pitcher Blake Hawksworth failed to cover first base on Cole Gillispie's two-out grounder and ended when Ryan Roberts obliterated the first pitch he saw from Javy Guerra for a game-winning grand slam. The win keeps Milwaukee's magic number to clinch home field advantage in the NLDS at one.
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:
|W||L||GB||Last 10||Streak||Wild Card E #
And here are the playoff participants, if the season ended today:
|W||L||GB||Last 10||Streak||Magic #
On tap for today:
Philadelphia @ Atlanta: Blanton (1-2, 5.03) vs. Hudson (16-10, 3.23)
Milwaukee vs. Pittsburgh: Greinke (15-6, 3.86) vs. Locke (0-2, 4.97)
Arizona vs. Los Angeles: Saunders (12-12, 3.58) vs. Lilly (11-14, 4.12)
- St. Louis @ Houston: Carpenter (10-9, 3.59) vs. Myers (7-13, 4.31)