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NL Wild Card Game

Oct 5, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Associated Press file photo
Turner Field hosts the first-ever, winner-take-all, NL Wild Card Game.

And so the postseason has arrived. And for the first time, the Nationals have tangible reason to care about the outcome. That's because they'll be playing the winner of today's first-ever, winner-take-all, NL Wild Card Game between the Braves and Cardinals. The Nationals will all huddle around their own TV sets to watch this one, then board a plane tomorrow for either Atlanta or St. Louis and in advance of Sunday's Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

Both managers today are sending their aces to the mound. Kris Medlen (10-1, 1.57 ERA this season) gets the ball for the Braves, who will attempt to win for the 23rd consecutive time when the right-hander starts a game. The Cardinals' Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA) just completed the best season of his career and makes his 10th career postseason appearance (he's 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA).

Emotions surely will be strong at Turner Field, with Chipper Jones playing perhaps the final game of his Cooperstown-worthy career. In order to extend his time in uniform at least a few more days, he and his teammates will have to dethrone the reigning World Series champs.

There's nothing quite like a one-game playoff. And we've never had this much reason to watch in Washington. Enjoy the game, everyone…

NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD CARD GAME
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 5:07 p.m. EDT
TV: TBS
Radio: WSPZ (570 AM), XM 185
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, Wind 3 mph out to CF

CARDINALS (88-74)
CF Jon Jay
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
1B Allen Craig

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271 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    (responding to a post in last thread)I don't mind the Yankees. Maybe you have to live in NY and be married to a guy from Flatbush to understand that, but I was and I do.I grew up in the NY area. When the Mets needed a place in 1962, Yankees told them to go jump in the Hudson River, so the Mets resurrected the Polo Grounds until Shea was ready in 1964.A decade later when the Yankees were building Yankee-stadium-II and needed a place, the Mets said, "sure, join us at Shea."Did I mention yet that Steinbrenner was a convicted liar?And, back in those days, Buddy Harrelson could set a record for most consecutive games at SS without an error, and a Yankee would catch a cold, and it was the Yankees that got the coveted "back page."But none of that bothered me as much as the "sense of entitlement". If they didn't win this year, they'd spend a gazillion dollars to win it next year. And their fans expected it. Anything less than first place was shocking, and beneath them. And every other team that ever existed was "not in their class."Eventually, rooting for the Yankees was like rooting for (back in those days) IBM or GM or (these days) Microsoft or Facebook.Some day I'll tell you how I really feel.

  2. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Go, um, er…may the best, no, wait, worst team win? Heh.

  3. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    GYFNG!Oh, wait a minute…. never mind.Go Cards, for now (to make sure that any game that Marvin "in the tank for Atlanta" Hudson umps does not involve the Barves).

  4. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Yikes — that was a first post? Sorry, folks!Braves-Cards. Let them exhaust themselves!!Kudos, btw, the the person who (in a few threads ago — please repost and take more credit) listed the records of the Nats, Braves, and Cards over the last 25 games, and broke it down by "lame opponents" and "opponents still in contention."Fascinating!

  5. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    A GAME! Wait.. what, the Nats are not playing. Umm.. wait, this game impacts the Nats? Wow.. post season baseball, need to get used this.

  6. Mickey Vernon - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I'm for the Cards today only. Classic baseball city, classy fans. Can't say the same for the TH Choppers at Turnip Field.

  7. NatsNut - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    SQUEEEEEAL!!! Here it comes!!!! I can't believe it!!! Man, I can already feel myself getting tightly wound up again, no matter how much i tell myself to just enjoy the ride, this is all gravy, etc. etc.!!!!!!!

  8. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Another, even bigger reason to root for the Cards — for THIS game — is that you know MLB wants the Barves to be the NL champs so they can prolong the Chipper Farewell Tour. I can foresee great and undeserved frustration from that cause for the Nats and their fans if the Cards don't win today.

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Mickey Vernon said… I'm for the Cards today only. Classic baseball city, classy fans. Can't say the same for the TH Choppers at Turnip Field. October 05, 2012 3:46 PM Agreed. Go Cards just for today!

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    MicheleS said… A GAME! Wait.. what, the Nats are not playing. Umm.. wait, this game impacts the Nats? Wow.. post season baseball, need to get used this. October 05, 2012 3:43 PM I left you a message on the other thread. You get my Natitude award!

  11. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Thanks, Wonk! Here by request — I also did a little research this morning in response to those (like Todd Boss on Nationals Arm Race) who would pick either the Cards or the Braves over the Nats because of their most recent series against us. And others have said that the Braves and Cards were playing better than we were in the last month, that we were stumbling into the playoffs.First, as Boz has written recently, there's a big difference in motivation when a must-win team is facing a nice-to-win team. When you get to the playoffs, everyone's motivation is the same, win or go home.Beyond that, as Harry Truman said, let's look at the record. In the past month, starting with the first series that extended into September, the Braves were:14-5 against non-contenders6-7 vs. contenders (Phi 2x, Mil, Nats)6 of final 18 games played against contendersCards were:9-6 vs. non-contenders8-9 vs. contenders (Nats 2x, Mil, LAD, Cin)10 of final 19 games played against contendersNats were:8-2 vs. non-contenders12-11 vs contenders (Cards 2x, Atl, LAD, Mil, Phi 2x)All final 19 games played against contendersWho's the only team of those three with a winning record against playoff-caliber (and playoff-motivated) teams?Your NL East Champion Washington Nationals!

  12. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I wish we had FP and Carp before the game today, even though WE are not playing, just to have something good to listen to. You'd think it was the SuperBowl over here, there's so much Sports Watching Food. And we aren't even playing yet.I love that we are all huddled around the TV, and so are our guys. Have to say, I am rooting for this to be Chipper's last game. The Cards manager doesn't know us as well. TODAY ONLY! GYMCG (and the "m" stands for "middling").

  13. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Nice post, Steady! Thanks!

  14. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I am so tired of Chipper.

  15. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    I hate the chop. A couple of weeks ago I posted that the Braves fans have a split personality disorder. I mean one minute they are all doing this tomahawk chop crap and then a bugle blares and they all call for the cavalry by yelling, "CHARGE!" I mean, what's up with that?

  16. Joe Hardy - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    From a distant GA collard green patch, Ghostly Braves fans whisper in unison, " Remember Francisco Cabrera…ease his pain…"

  17. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    I remember, Joe. That was a good one.There's a dopey poll over on the Sports Bog about watching pointy-ball vs. the Nats on Sunday. There's no option for "Nats only." Whatever.

  18. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Er, addressed to Joe Seamhead, not the shoeless guy from Hannibal.

  19. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    I remember, Joe. That was a good one.Ditto. That _is_ pretty funny!

  20. TimDz - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    The best thing that could happen is a 19 inning slugfest in which both teams burn through their respective bull pens…maybe even burn a starter or three…

  21. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    TimDz said… The best thing that could happen is a 19 inning slugfest in which both teams burn through their respective bull pens…maybe even burn a starter or three…Amen to that! But the slugfest doesn't start till the 8th inning or so — so as to maximize the # of innings that Medlen thrown

  22. Uncle Atom - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    I'd like a nice 29-inning game-athon, please

  23. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Sunny and COLD in St. Louis on Sunday (high of 59, 8% chance of precip.In Atlanta on Sunday, high of 66, chance of precip 30%

  24. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    DING DING DING.. We have a winner:BEST NATS FAN EVER This is the person that should be allowed to certify you as a Nats fan or kick you off the bandwagon if necessary. No one else's vote counts period.

  25. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Oh look Joe Simpson on a Braves telecast. No homers on the call tonight.. GEESH

  26. JD - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    For what it's worth I intend to completely ignore tonight's game. I'm taking a baseball break until our team plays. I don't have a preference as to who we play (I would have preferred the Giants) because both teams have some serious strengths and weaknesses. I think the Braves rotation is a B+, their bullpen is an A+ their lineup is a B and their bench is a C-. The Cards rotation is a B-, their bullpen is a B their lineup is an A- and their bench is a B+.

  27. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I also am wishing for a tense, hard-fought game that goes many, many innings. Don't think I care who wins but I am sick to death of the Chipper retirement (sob) tour and the stupid chop thing. Even though they really hosed up the schedule this year with us having to wait to find out who we are playing and then go away to start, this second wild card thing is pretty exciting. I think the fact that is one game should change the dynamic of how it is managed. Can't wait to see how it all works. Never too early to say GO Nats!!!

  28. JD - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Swami, You talked me into it. Go Cards (tonight). If the Cards win do we want to move Zim to the 1st game and EJax to the 3rd so we can have as many righty starts as possible?

  29. DannyEllinosa - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    My gut say We should want Cards to win. Even before I think of how much I hate any more days of tomahawk chop. Go Cards! Just today!

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    After seeing all those foam tomahawks, I'm all in for the Cards.

  31. DannyEllinosa - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Good sign. Medlen can be hit deep.

  32. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Hayward.with the circus catch. But Molina came within inches of going yard.

  33. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    BEST NATS FAN EVER Oh yeah, was he on this board in 2005? Huh? Huh? Did he read NatsFarm? No? Obviously a bandwagoner.(for the snark-challenged, that was snark)

  34. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    CHIPPER K's.. Gosh I love it.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    MicheleS, you beat me to it! What a pitch! CHOmP on that.

  36. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Sick of the love-fest. Lohse is a free agent. Hmmmm. What do you think???

  37. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Unfortunately, Ross didn't K.

  38. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Haha..Shows what I know! I guess Ross is better than McCann when he gets 4 strikes! Fredi=Genius…

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Game over. LOL

  40. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Haha!! Only 6 innings until Kimbrel..

  41. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Just weird to be watching a game and not have a real actual rooting interest in it

  42. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Really Michele? I know all the teams are good, but I'd much rather the Nats see the Cards…I'm finding it easy to root for StL…

  43. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Two managers in their first year with a team. St. Louis took the Braves spot last year, the Braves are trying to take it back this year. Symmetry. I just got so used to rooting for the Braves to lose in these past months, I can't stop.

  44. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Swift True.. not a fan of the chop or chipper, but with no Nats in it just odd. I would rather the Cardinals win, but that has more to do with friends in STL

  45. original Nats Fan - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    I don't expect the Cards to go without a fight. They are the defending champs.

  46. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Michele — the reason I want us to face the Cards is that MLB doesn't have a commercial interest in promoting one team over the other. They so obviously do have an interest in prolonging the Chipper farewell tour, simply because of themarketingnarrative it offers(HOF vet who started with the great Braves teams of the 1990s gets a last chance to win another WS, as I'm sure MLB hopes, against the Yanks with their aging 1990s vets). If assigning Hudson to the Nats series wasn't transparent evidence of that, I don't know what is. Like the new CBA and it's signing caps, that's another in-your-face from Bud to Ted Lerner.

  47. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    There goes the no hitterSteady.. agree on the prolonging of the chipper fairwell tour

  48. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    WOW that was a bad throw. Ryan wouldn't do that ;-)

  49. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Well, now! There's a gift from Chip!

  50. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    And of course, I hate the Chop….

  51. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Wow. That wasn't part of the script for the farewell tour.

  52. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Crowd very quiet suddenly.

  53. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Run is on the board.. Again.. WE want a 19 inning slug fest. I would like to see over 700 pitches thrown tonight

  54. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Original Nats@5:59 — props to you AND the Cards!

  55. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Swami.. LOL!

  56. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Guess the game isn't over.

  57. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    And now the Cards have taken the lead. Thanks Larry.

  58. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Oooooooh, a close game- just what we wanted!! Medlen is mortal.

  59. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Nice to see our pitchers aren't the only good pitchers to get a little rattled by an error or bad call. Another reminder how human these guys are — it's the giants of the game who can withstand the postseason pressure despite those setbacks. I think JZimm has been growing in that way over this season.

  60. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Small ball!

  61. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Eddie, absolutely. Quite a change in JZ from last season to this. Hope to see the same in Stras next year.

  62. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    LA–RRY. LA–RRY. Couldn't happen to a nicer retiring HOFer. Ha! So great to see him show his mortality amidst all the worship. Maybe that will quiet the adoring announcers. And it turned into a very big error indeed!Speaking of mortals, maybe Medlen is one after all. It would really serve all the offensive choppers right if the Cards touched him up.And speaking of the chop — perhaps they mentioned it on the TV broadcast too, but Don Sutton informed the ATL radio audience that 45,000 red plastic chops were distributed to fans at the gate today. Ugh.As much as I believe the Braves would be an easier opponent for the Nats, I am finding I just hate the Braves too much to root for them. So I guess once it's over I'll be happy either way.

  63. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Wow, who wanted us to go after Bourn? He would have the worst arm in our outfield.Chip-Chop, Chip-Chop 3-2 Cards!

  64. original Nats Fan - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    the Cards do scare me, they can hitof course, the Nats can pitch

  65. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Be nice if Lohse doesn't give it right back.

  66. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Section 222- I also am finding that I just cannot, in any way, root for the Brsves. I am sick of them.

  67. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Wow. This is crazy!!!!!!!

  68. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    That was AWESOME. INTERFERENCE

  69. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Now why doesn't LaRoche ever dowhat Ross just did, especially when a hard bunt down the LF line against the shift could get him a double?Now that was a novel and weird mistake that Simmons just made — both bunting with the pitcher on deck AND running onto the grass to getroperly called out for interference!

  70. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Simmons is rattled.

  71. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Eddie, LaRoche did, at least once that I recall. I don't remember if it was a double, but it was a hit.

  72. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    There's a good call that you don't see every day!So let' review this; Chipper makes a very costly throwing error. Bourn makes a horrible throw from center. Simmons makes a bonehead baserunning boner.Still 3-2

  73. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Wow, if Simmons had just been thrown out on the play, it would have been 2nd and 3rd, with two out and the pitcher coming up. Brilliant strategy. With the interference, he's just out — leaving the runners where they were. Even better!!

  74. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Simmons wasn't bunting on his own. Guess you have to charge that one to Fredi, though running outside the basepath was on Simmons.

  75. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Marvin Hudson is being rewarded for his work during the regular season by being given the Nats' NLDS series? Really? A conspiracy theorist might suggest that the MLB front office has it in for the Nats.

  76. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    NL, Fredi isn't the smartest manager in the league, but do you really think he'd have the No.8 hitter bunt in that situation, and not call a squeeze? No, that was Simmons' own doing. And he looked like he had done it on his own sitting alone on the bench afterward.

  77. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Simmons acted alone-no conspiracy on the grass(sy knoll).

  78. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    222- have to agree. Bunt that's not a squeeze makes no sense at all. Maximum success is that you haven't driven in a run and your pitcher is up with a force at any base. Between inexperienced rookie Simmons and Freeman, It's not likely that Freeman was the one who missed the sign.

  79. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    222, Fredi says he called for the bunt himself. I honestly think that Hudson is a slow, lousy ump with poor eyesight.

  80. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    They also know that Freese has a bum ankle.

  81. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Joe, Fredi called for the bunt but not a squeeze? That really is dumb.

  82. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Maybe Fredi said that to protect Simmons. I'm not sure why he had to say anything in the middle of the game.

  83. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Medley gives in….

  84. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Wow, are we sure that we want the Cards?

  85. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    I hear Cardinal Fans in the ATL. BOOM Matt!

  86. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    So Medlen is subject to the long ball? Good to know…

  87. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Kris Medlen. Human being. Hahaha. Listening to Sutton rave about him before the game started and in the first inning has made me really enjoy the Cards touching him up. Love it!

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    NatsLADY, ask Donovan Solano

  89. DannyEllinosa - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    And Holliday goes deep for real on Medlen.

  90. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    JoeS — where did you see that Fredi called for the bunt?

  91. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    They interviewed both skippers but they said Fredi's mike had issues, but that said he called for the bunt. I'm in agreement that it wasn't easily explained.

  92. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    I'm not sure why he had to say anything in the middle of the game.Nats Lady, exactly. Doesn't he have another job to do that takes priority right now? Frightening if it's because you never say no to TBS in Atlanta.

  93. DannyEllinosa - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Yes we want the Cards. Cuz the braves are more annoying.

  94. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    "The final game of Chipper Jones' illustrious career." And he may have made the crucial error of the game. Sweet!!

  95. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    The announcers just said it again. Freeman called for a " safety squeeze." I didn't make it up!

  96. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Joe — they interviewed BOTH skippers? I would want to think Davey would tell them where they could put their mike in the middle of a playoff game!And it's not that we WANT the Cards, but that we don't want the Braves. Hard enough to play the other good team without having to push uphill against MLB's (not to mention TBS's) marketing interests. Also the Chop.

  97. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    During the playoffs they often interview the skippers mid-game. I guess it's bad PR to say no.I am hating that tomahawk thing more by the minute. I hope the Cards can hold 'em to four runs through the 14th inning, and then go ahead in the top of the 15th.

  98. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    They had Mike Matheny with a headset between innings earlier and he wasn't 't crazy about Ross getting the timeout right before the HR earlier.

  99. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Cardinals have gotten Medlen to go deeper into counts. I thought it would be a low scoring game and I predicted Cardinals.I think even some of my friends who Cardinal fans were predicting a Medlen shutout so talk about pessimism.

  100. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I would think it's in the network contract that they each give a quick interview between the innings once or twice a game. But, am I the only one who saw, and heard Matheny between, I think, the 3rd and 4th? Then the announcers said there was a problem with the headset on Fredi's headset. You all are making me question my sanity, darnit!

  101. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    This is why you don't want to be a WC team in this new system. One and done no matter how good a season you had. And also why you don't want a racist mantra to represent your team. Karma baby. Karma. The Cardinals appeal to be a fundamentally sounder team than the Braves. JoeS, I wasn't implying you made it up, just wondering where you heard it. I must be paying more attention to the comments here and on Twitter than what the announcers say. If Fredi really called a safety squeeze in that situation, he's a bigger idiot than I thought.

  102. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    First pitcher called in relief for the Braves — Chad Durbin, who couldn't make the opening day roster for the Nats.

  103. original Nats Fan - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Fredi's no Bobby Cox, for sure

  104. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Oh My.. that defense looks like crap

  105. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    The Cardinals appeal to be a fundamentally sounder team than the Braves. Like I said.Darling is absolutely right. Once he bobbled it, there was no way to get the runner at home. And inexperience is no excuse. Nerves maybe.

  106. The Fox - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    When you look choke up in the dictionary there is a team picture of the Atlanta Braves.Is this a professional baseball team?

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Meltdown Mode. The Medlen project that so many said was the right got them a Wild Card. Rizzo vindicated once again. Winning the division was the right move. Best record a bonus.

  108. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Joe, I heard Methany, you are still sane. It was short, just a few words.

  109. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Score from 2nd on an infield hit! WoW

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    CHOmP on that Barves.

  111. Eugene in Oregon - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  112. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    This game is disintegrating fast. All the Cards have to do is hold on.

  113. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Haha..The Braves are in their typical, Postseason form…"The Kid Kozma" was a Nats killer too….Looks like the Furcal injury was a good thing…

  114. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Well, I guess we know who we are playing. The Braves are throwing it away, literally. This would be hard to watch if I was a Braves fan. Which is never gonna happen.

  115. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    The Braves bullpen is set up perfectly too. For all the good it will do them. Hahaha.On the first replay it looked like Kozma actually ran through the stop sign. The play was in front of him and he went for it. Harperesque!

  116. DannyEllinosa - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Ok. Although a series with the Cards may not be a walk in the park, it is so delightful to watch the barves meltdown! GYFNG!

  117. Eugene in Oregon - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    TBS announcers keep referring to the Braves as the 'best defensive team' in baseball, apparently based on fielding percentage or number of errors. A much better — and simpler — metric is runs allowed per game. By that measure, Braves are fifth best, Nats second (and that's in all baseball, not just NL). Yes, runs allowed includes pitching, but last time I checked pitching and fielding = total defense.

  118. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Got to give Loshe credit. He threw one bad pitch.Getting these last 9 outs is not going to be that easy.

  119. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Thanks, NL and Jane!Well now, it looks like the Braves made a math error. They should have left Medlin in the pen for a few more games earlier in the season.

  120. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    This is soo why you go for it from DAY 1. You want to win the Division. Put your horse (Stras) in from Day 1 (literally) and get a 5 game series instead of a 1 and done. I can't wait to see the smirk on Davey's face when he is asked about this.

  121. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Few words from Metheny — smart on his part. Do the minimum necessary to fulfill the stupid contract and then get back to your real job.Kozma looked a little like the "run till they tag you (c)" Bryce Harper offense.

  122. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Those games in April, y'know. When the pitchers were ready and the batters were cold. Davey likes to build an early lead.

  123. NatsNut - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    I want to root for the Braves now that they're in the hole. I feel bad for them and for my brother. I always start leaning toward the underdog, even if it changes mid-game. I can't seem to help it.

  124. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    And here is the STL bullpen. They better hold this lead

  125. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    NatsNut.. Can't root for the braves as long as I hear that stupid chant

  126. NatsNut - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Yea, there's that. I HATE that chant. Surely it must bug the players too.

  127. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Metheny has an appropriately short leash. Time to bring in Boggs. He can get 4 outs tonight.

  128. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Wonder why he didn't leave Lynn in, did he pinch hit? I'm working and can't keep up completely.

  129. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    OK, a LOOGY. Just get one out.

  130. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    NatsNut, you learned to still love the Nats even though they are no longer underdogs. Please root for Chipper to strike out as the tying run.

  131. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    And he didn't. Or at least, they needed Harp.

  132. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Yes, Chip does NOT play the hero tonight!

  133. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Chipper, the best out to get.

  134. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    As nervous as I am, and I don't even really care about these guys, I will need medication Sunday afternoon.

  135. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Those games in April, y'know. When the pitchers were ready and the batters were cold. Davey likes to build an early lead.Absolutely. On Apr. 25, the Nats were 14-4, the Braves were 12-7. On July 30, the day before Medlen made his first start of the season, the Nats were 61-40, 4 games up on the Braves in the NL East. Good thing the Braves saved Medlen for the end of season and the WC game. Otherwise they might have won the division!

  136. original Nats Fan - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    JaneB, I will be there with you looking for something to calm myself down

  137. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    You're right, Jane, it's not caring about these guys — it's caring what comes next for the Nats. Including not having Marvin Hudson ump a series with the Barves. And no revolting Chop.

  138. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Sunshine.. you better have the bourbon and maalox ready for Sunday

  139. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Good points NL and Sec 222….All the "experts" who said to push back Stras until May or June should read it….Rizzo's plan for Stras was a big part of winning the NL East

  140. DannyEllinosa - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    We need meds too Jane! Even now!

  141. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    StL bullpen leads the league in hair…

  142. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    222, sometimes I wish that we had a 'like' button.

  143. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    May and June is when the Division was in doubt, when the Fish were hot; we had lots of injuries. Needed Stras then. Always have the bird in hand. The bird in hand….What is with the Cards bullpen? Come on, settle down. The time to blow late leads is with the Nats!!!!!!!

  144. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Good grief! Does either defense want to win this game?

  145. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    ugh. Why don't they get another pitcher in there?

  146. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Matheny obviously doesn't realize that HROD has possessed BoggsAND now the Cards have the ERROS

  147. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Playoff baseball….Wow! That can't be an infield fly

  148. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Or maybe a new SS? ANd why is Freddie mad?

  149. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    I do believe that Matt Holliday is the worst outfielder in baseball. How many lousy plays has he made in the playoffs??

  150. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Classy. Braves fans. Classy.

  151. peric - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    The crowd is pretty loud … louder than I've ever heard them at Turner Field. I guess the whole Chipper deal? Its a different atmosphere.

  152. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Oh My…Ugly

  153. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Never mind. That ump was wrong. I kind of can't believe that guy isn't umpiring our games. Maybe the umpire will have the balls to do a do-over, like with Mikey's homer.

  154. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    This is just bananas.. and I meant Errors not ERROS

  155. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    The announcers said the infield fly rule applies wherever an infielder has a legitimate chance to catch the ball, which Kozma had. Incredibly lucky brek for the Cards but it couldn't't happen to a more deserving fan base.

  156. peric - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    And right after I say that look at what they do … these folks have either been drinking all day and last night or they are out for blood.

  157. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Wow! I don't know about that call. I'd be pissed if that call was against us, but the call was made while the ball was in the air, but it was pretty late. The player's safety is now becoming an issue.

  158. TimDz - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    At a HS football game …Can I get a score update?

  159. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Good lord Atlanta all that trash on the field. Stay Classy is right.

  160. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    TIM 6-3 Cards winning, but nutty stuff is happneing

  161. natscan reduxit - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    … I HATE the Braves, but I gotta say it: they was ROBBED … big time. Fire the Umps! What a bunch of crap for brains.Go Nats!! … anyway.

  162. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Not saying the umps are right. Just repeating what they said.

  163. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    This is horrible. How do they stop this? And didn't they think about the players?

  164. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    "Any fair fly ball that could have been caught by an infielder with ordinary effort is covered by the rule, regardless of where the ball is caught. The ball need not be caught by an infielder, nor must it be caught in the infield."

  165. Section 222 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Fredi's mad because it was a terrible call. Looks like Holliday called Kozma off and then didn't catch the ball. Kozma broke away like he was afraid of getting run into and he moved before the ump's hand went up declaring the Infield Fly rule. (Of course, he could have yelled something earlier that Kozma thought was Holliday.) Very weird play.

  166. The Fox - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    I don't like the Braves but they just got screwed hard.

  167. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Swift is correct. Replacement refs, hmmmm. Bad behavior by Barves fans, yes.

  168. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    I hope our fans never act like that.

  169. peric - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    This is horrible. How do they stop this? And didn't they think about the players?I've never seen a crowd like this at Turner field … its very, very different they are likely in it because it could be Chipper's last game. They were waiting for something to set them off … never seen it that noisy … worse than any classic Redskin game at RFK. Amazing for ATL fans and now scary!

  170. JaneB - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Me too, FS. It's really shocking.

  171. JaneB - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    What does it mean that the game is under protest? What is the net effect of that?

  172. peric - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    They need to cut off the alcoholic beverages there immediately.

  173. JaneB - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    They did cut off the alcohol , a half inning ago.

  174. peric - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    I didn't know … thank god these people do not need anymore to drink. Otherwise, I'm afraid they are gong to start a riot!

  175. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Koczsma may have heard the ump yell and thought it was Holliday. This postgame show will be interesting.

  176. Steady Eddie - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    This is truly bizarre. I've watched MLB for more than 50 years and I don't recall seeing anything like this.But with the crowd like this, they need a warning that the Braves will forfeit the game if this doesn't stop.

  177. JaneB - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    I don't want the Braves to win, and if it gets overturned it's a momentum changer. But I don't want them to lose on something so unfair. I want baseball to do the right thing here.

  178. mick - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    CRAZY!!!! can we expect this as well lol

  179. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Remind me to tell everyone about the discussion several of us had about an exact situation that took place in Spring Training.He was the home plate umpire and made the call then took grief from us till the inning was over.He came back (I sit behind home plate, although Swifts seats are 3 rows closer) and spent 2 between inning warm ups to explain his call.It was lengthy and from his explanation doubt the protest will stand.

  180. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Oh…the umpire was Greg Gibson.

  181. mick - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Eddie… AGREED, this is nuts!!!In filed fly rule is simple, yet subjective…runners at least at 1st and 2nd, not on a line drive or bunt, only a fly ball in the infield that an infielder is a deemed to have a shot to catchthat ball was hit to left field.. since it is subjective, you can not protest the call

  182. The Fox - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Jane, if the Cards win the commissioner could reverse the call and either have the team play another game or more likely pick up the game at the point of the infraction.If either of these happened, which is unlikely due to there not being an off day it would probably be good for the Nationals because both teams would need to burn more pitchers.Don't count on it being changed.

  183. Section 3, My Playoffs Sofa - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Just got in, saw the replay. The shortstop called for the ball before he broke off. Batter is out, runners did advance after the ball hit. That's not getting overturned.

  184. Louise - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Absolutely brutal call by the ump. No excuse for what the crowd's doing. But if I was a Braves fan, I'd be PISSED!

  185. mick - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Braves fans…. REDNECKS plain and simple

  186. sjb - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Only similar situation I can remember is the 1973 NLCS when Pete Rose spiked Bud Harrelson at second, they got into it, and next inning Shea 'fans' showered Rose in left field with debris and wouldn't stop. Ultimately a delegation of Mets led by Seaver and Mays had to go out and plead with fans to get the throwing to stop.

  187. Gonat - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    I've never seen anything like this before. Now Motte has to get in.

  188. Drew - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    It's a terrible call, but the Braves fans' behavior is reprehensible.It's not only dangerous, it's an embarrassment to the Braves' franchise.Why the heck didn't they put Chipper on the P.A. system to say KNOCK IT OFF!"

  189. Section 222 - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Good point about a warning to the crowd Steady. These people are nuts, but they do want the Braves to win. 4 out save for Motte. I like this. Tire out that flamethrower.

  190. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Motte is over-throwing.

  191. Section 222 - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Something tells me this would not happen in Washington, or St. Louis.

  192. Steady Eddie - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    However unfair that may have been to the Braves, the Braves HAVE to lose because MLB cannot allow the intimidation that this foul crowd would bring for any subsequent series.

  193. mick - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    sjb I remember that like yesterday… rose was so intimated, he did not get another hit the rest of series

  194. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    by the way this is nothing compared to what happened to certain cricket team whose players' houses were stoned and their effigies.

  195. Gonat - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    No protest will hold up in this situation.

  196. Steady Eddie - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Ghost — you are correct. And now announcers are repeating that too.

  197. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Motte is still overthrowing.

  198. Joe Seamhead - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    The Cards are not going to get any close calls for the rest of this game.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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