Atlanta Braves catcher Gerald Laird (11) and third baseman Chris Johnson (right) celebrate after both players scored runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The View From Here: Braves are tied in the Wild Card

We have some good news and some more good news. The good news is, if the season ended today, the Atlanta Braves would be in the playoffs! Well, they’d be playing a game 163…but that’s better than nothing, right?

The additional good news? The season does not end today, and the Braves are red hot, and a victory away from sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Washington Nationals 8 – Arizona Diamondbacks 1

The D-Backs took the Nats to the brink Monday night, and had a couple of wonderful opportunities to take the victory, but squandered it. Well, last night, they were unable to recapture that “take ‘em to the brink,” spirit, and Stephen Strasburg threw lights-out ball, going eight innings and allowing just three hits and the lone run. The Nats took advantage of poor pitching from Dbacks starter Chase Anderson, and hung a six-spot in the third inning, thanks to a pair of multi-run doubles – one from Ian Desmond and one from Asdrubal Cabrera - which all but put this game out of reach almost before it could really get started. Desmond finished the night with four total RBI.

St. Louis Cardinals 5 – Cincinnati Reds 4

Cincinnati’s bullpen strikes again, as Sam LeCure allowed a Shane Robinson RBI single to bring a 4-2 lead to 4-3, and Jumbo Diaz gave up an RBI double to Daniel Descalso to tie the game at four. The Cards loaded the bases with no one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, and J.J. Hoover delivered the final blow, plunking Jon Jay in the back of the leg to bring home the winning run. The Cardinals are a season-high 11 games over .500, and the Reds have lost 21 of 31 games since the All Star Break.

San Francisco Giants 0 – Chicago Cubs 2 F/5

What a ridiculous evening on the North Side last night. After a four hour and 34 minute rain delay for rain that lasted only ten minutes, the game was finally called after the top of the fifth inning ended, and luckily, the home Cubs had a lead, thanks to a Anthony Rizzo two-run home run in the bottom of the first.

There’s no change in the NL East standings, since both the Braves and Nats won:
NL East                  GB
Washington  71-53     —
Atlanta          66-60     6.0

But, in the Wild Card, the Braves and Giants are tied for that number two spot.
Wild Card              GB
St. Louis       68-57      +2.5
San Fran.     65-59       —
Atlanta         66-60       —
Pittsburgh  68-57      2.0
Miami          63-62       2.5

The amazing thing, in my mind, is that the Cardinals are 11 games over .500, and have only a 2.5 game lead over the six game over .500 Braves. If things go as planned, the Giants will drop this series to the Cubs, giving the Braves sole possession of the second Wild Card spot, and turn things around against the Nats, and the Braves can start making up ground against them over the weekend.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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