The Braves, who held an 8 1/2-game lead in September, won only nine of 27 games in the final stretch to blow their Wild Card position to the Cardinals. The Cardinals went on in the playoffs to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in the National League Division Series and the Milwaukee Brewers in six games in the National League Championship Series.
The closest the Braves will get to the World Series this year, however, will be their couch.
"I'll flip on the games, but I can't watch them," David Ross said. "It still puts me in a bad mood and makes you wonder what might have happened. I know we weren't playing well down the stretch. But it's still tough."
What may make it even tougher on Ross and the Braves is that if they had won 11 games instead of nine in September, they would have clinched the Wild Card, and the Cardinals would have traded spots with them. Instead, the Cardinals rode their hot streak deep into October for the third time in the last decade.
"It's a mixed bag," Peter Moylan said. "Obviously, I don't want to pull for the Cardinals, because they're the ones that knocked us out. But they're also from the National League and you like to pull for teams from your league. It's tough."
And to add even further insult to injury, the Texas Rangers may not have won the last two American League championships without Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison, who the Braves dealt in exchange for Mark Teixeira in 2007.
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