The St. Louis Cardinals' improbable September run out of their August irrelevance has gotten them closer than ever to the National League Wild Card playoff spot, as a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs and an Atlanta Braves loss have them just one game out of the playoffs, an inconceivable result earlier this month. Sunday's magic came via yet another home run from the suddenly popful Rafael Furcal, who hit his seventh home run in 49 games as a Cardinal to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Edwin Jackson pitched well and Jason Motte earned another save for the Cardinals, who will play three games against the Houston Astros to decide the fate of their season.
The Braves, meanwhile, have four games left—one more against the Washington Nationals in DC and then three games at Turner Field against the first-place Philadelphia Phillies, who've struggled since clinching the NL East and condemning the Braves to this improbable Wild Card chase.
The Cardinals will send Jaime Gacia, Jake Westbrook, and Chris Carpenter into Houston to face Wandy Rodriguez, Henry Sosa, and Brett Myers. The Braves are still in control of their own fate, but things have gotten tighter than anyone could have imagined back on August 31.