What an unbelievable Saturday it was in the National League. The Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants are proving that the last win is the hardest to get.

The Braves, who seem to be looking for the Shell Answer Man lately, lost again to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, 7-0. The Braves were shut down by Vance Worley for five innings and now are tied with the San Diego Padres for the Wild Card lead.

Speaking of the Padres…

The Padres refuse to go away. For the second day in a row, the Padres defeated the San Francisco Giants. The Padres beat the Giants 4-2 on Saturday thanks to some terrible pitching by Barry Zito and some great pitching by Tim Stauffer.

Stauffer continued his solid run as of late by pitching 6.1 of one-run ball. Over his last three starts, Stauffer has given up just three earned runs in 19.1 IP. I will put Stauffer’s run in the “I didn’t see that one coming” category.

Now that the Padres won and the Braves and Giants lost, let’s break things down for Sunday.

Phillies vs. Braves: Tim Hudson vs Cole Hamels.
Hamels is 2-1 with 4.35 ERA in four starts versus the Braves this year and is rolling in September with a 4-1 record with a 1.93 ERA. The Braves are going to have their hands full on Sunday.

Hudson went on short rest against the Washington Nationals and came through with a six-inning, one-run performance. Now he needs to come through again to get the Braves to the playoffs.

Hudson is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts versus the Phillies this year.

Padres vs. Giants: Mat Latos vs. Jonathan Sanchez.
Can the real Mat Latos please stand up? Latos gave up 13 runs in five innings in his first two starts in September and in his last two starts, has given up five runs in 10.2 IP. Not great, but better.

Latos is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts versus the Giants this season.

Very quietly, Sanchez is having one of the best Septembers in baseball. Sanchez is 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA in five September starts, but is 0-3 versus the Padres this season. That’s not his fault though. Sanchez has a 2.59 ERA in those five starts.


If the Giants beat the Padres and Atlanta beats Philadelphia, San Francisco is the NL West champion and the Braves win the wild card.

If the Giants win and the Braves lose, San Diego and Atlanta tie for the wild card. There would be a one-game tiebreaker Monday in Atlanta for the wild card.

If the Padres win and the Braves lose, San Diego wins the NL West and San Francisco gets the wild card. The Braves would be eliminated. The Padres get the division title because they won the season series against the Giants.

If the Padres win and the Braves win, San Diego, San Francisco and Atlanta all finish 91-71. The Giants and Padres would play a one-game tiebreaker for the NL West title Monday night in San Diego. The loser would then go to Atlanta for a one-game playoff for the wild card on Tuesday night (the Braves would host either the Padres or Giants because Atlanta won the season series against both teams).

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