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The Braves were left searching for answers at the end of the season.
On Aug. 26, the Braves had a 10-and-a-half game lead over the Cardinals for the NL Wild Card spot.
On Sept. 6, their lead had dropped to eight games—still a significant advantage.
With five games to go, the Cardinals had cut the lead to three games—and while they prepared to take on the Cubs and Astros to end the season, the Braves finished up with the Nationals and Phillies.
St. Louis would win three of their next four games while the Braves lost four in a row, setting up a must-win final game against the Phillies for Chipper Jones and the Braves.
The Braves took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning with the eventual 2011 NL Rookie of the Year, Craig Kimbrel, on the mound to clinch the wild card. Kimbrel, who had issued only 29 walks in 76 innings of work up until this point, would allow a leadoff single before eventually walking the bases loaded. Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley would hit a sacrifice fly that drove in the tying run.
After the game Kimbrel would tell reporters: "My mind was rushing. Things started moving too fast. My head started moving too fast. My brain. I didn't put it together. It was just too late. ... When you walk guys, nothing good ever happens." (h/t Huffington Post)
But I digress. Back to the action.
Fast forward to the 13th inning where Phillies' right fielder Hunter Pence, with runners at the corners and two outs, hit a ball past a diving Dan Uggla into right field, scoring the go-ahead run for the Phillies.
Atlanta had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the inning as Uggla worked a one-out walk, but Braves first baseman Freddy Freeman would ground into a season-ending double play.
The Cardinals took care of business against the hapless Astros, clinching the wild card and eventually defeating the Rangers in the World Series.