Braves 7, Cardinals 6 (Saturday behind Tim Hudson)
Braves 9, Cardinals 2 (Sunday behind Javier Vazquez)
Most Valuable Hitter: Brian McCann, .415 WPA. He only played in two of three games in this series, but he went 1-for-3 with a walk in Game 1, and then 3-for-5 with two RBIs including the crucial go-ahead double late in Game 2. He's been cold for a long time now, but he's definitely starting to rebound.
Least Valuable Hitter: Garret Anderson, -.228 WPA. Anderson is the reverse of McCann, in that his midseason hot streak is most definitely ended at this point. He managed just one hit the entire series.
Most Valuable Pitcher: Jair Jurrjens, .575 WPA. The Braves managed just one run in support of Jurrjens, so they needed a shutout. And they got damned close: JJ scattered six hits and two walks while whiffing seven in eight innings of work.
Least Valuable Pitcher: Mike Gonzalez, -.530 WPA. Magically turned a 5-4 eighth-inning lead into a 6-5 deficit in Game 2. In a way, it's a blessing that the Braves have so little shot to make the playoffs: I have no confidence in the likes of Soriano and Gonzalez to hold leads at this point. They are both totally worn out, and it's becoming almost commonplace to watch one or both of them blow leads. If I'm even a semi-promising relief prospect in the Braves' organization (looking at you, Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel), I'm hoping Bobby Cox retires after the season, before he gets a chance to blow out my arm.
Most Important Play: McCann's two-RBI double with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth in Game 2, to put the Braves ahead 7-6. This is one of the signs that the Braves are going to fight it out right to the end of the season, even with their playoff chances all but dead. Rather than being deflated after watching Mike Gonzalez surrender the lead, they came right back and won the game off of St. Louis' usually-brilliant closer Ryan Franklin.
Unit of the Series: Offense, .767 WPA. The bats get the credit in spite of some really excellent starting pitching. The seventeen runs scored seem to get overshadowed by Jurrjens' and Vazquez's sparkling performances, but let's remember that Vazquez's domination was really just icing on the cake in a blowout win made possible by the offense.