Offenses dramatically impacting NL Wild Card race

On Sept. 1, the Braves led the Cardinals by eight and a half games (nine in the loss column) and the Giants by nine and a half (10 in the loss column). Exactly three weeks later, that lead has decreased to one and a half games over St. Louis (one in the loss column) and three and a half over San Francisco (three in the loss column).

Pitching is obviously a large factor: The Giants’ 2.69 team ERA (first in the NL) and the Cardinals’ 3.18 ERA (sixth in the NL) are much better than the Braves’ 4.16 team ERA (12th in the league). But the stark differences in recent offensive performance have made this race far too close for Atlanta’s comfort.

(NL rank)	                 Slash Line	          R	    HR	        XBH	   
St. Louis Cardinals	.292 (1)/.346 (2)/.442 (2)	85 (2)	  17 (T-9)	55 (T-3)	   
San Francisco Giants	.255 (4)/.319 (8)/.452 (1)	82 (T-3)  24 (3)	52 (T-7)	   
Atlanta Braves	        .251 (6)/.320 (7)/.383 (11)	73 (12)	  18 (T-6)	49 (11)	 
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