Relive the very best Division Series moment from each NLDS team
The do-or-die madness of the Wild Card games has come and gone, but don't worry. The NLDS is no stranger to bonkers drama itself -- as all four remaining teams can attest. Let's get ready with a quick walk down memory lane and look at the biggest DS moment for each team.
As you might expect of a franchise that won its division every single year from 1995 to 2005, Atlanta has plenty of memorable moments to choose from here. There's Javy Lopez in 1996 (and 1998), Brian McCann off Roger Clemens in 2005, Rick Ankiel into the Cove in 2010. But in the end, there could only be one, and we felt compelled to give the nod to one of the defining players in franchise history: Lawrence "Chipper" Jones.
Chipper was just a 23-year-old rookie back in 1995, looking to help Atlanta exorcise years of postseason heartbreak. The team experienced excruciating losses in the 1991 and '92 World Series, followed by a loss to the rival Phillies in the 1993 NLCS.
In Game 1 of the '95 NLDS against the Rockies at Coors Field, the script felt familiar -- Ellis Burks hit a game-tying double in the bottom of the eighth, and the Braves looked like they were about to give away another late October lead.
But then Jones, who'd already homered earlier that night, stepped up:
The Braves went on to win the series in four games and capture their first title since 1957.
Juan Uribe wasn't even supposed to swing the bat. With L.A. trailing the Braves by a run in Game 4 of the 2013 NLDS, Yasiel Puig led off the bottom of the eighth with a double, and Uribe's job was to get him to third with less than two outs.
Except, well, he botched it -- he squared around and got a pitch in the strike zone but tapped it foul. It was such a weak attempt that Don Mattingly decided to just let the infielder swing away. And then, a few pitches later, he did this:
Craig Kimbrel, meanwhile, could only watch.
Over the course of the 2011 season, Milwaukee center fielder Nyjer Morgan had introduced the baseball world to Tony Plush -- an alter ego whose swag was matched only by his knack for coming through in big moments. Morgan was a 5-foot-10 journeyman with decent speed but a weak bat. Plush was a 10-foot-tall demigod who patrolled the outfield on a bald eagle and swung a bat made of pure energy.
So, naturally, when Morgan came up with the winning run on second in the bottom of the ninth of Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, he delivered a single to center ... and then it was Plush's turn to take the mic:
The 2007 Rockies just had that mojo. Sitting at 76-72 entering play on Sept. 16, Colorado looked destined for a 12th straight season without postseason baseball. And then they won 14 of their last 15 to force an NL West tiebreaker with the Padres. And then they won that tiebreaker thanks to a 13th-inning rally and a pretty generous view of where exactly home plate was. And then they took a 2-0 lead on the Phillies in the NLDS thanks to a grand slam from none other than Kaz Matsui.
So when Game 3 went to the bottom of the eighth tied at one, they didn't panic. They just put together consecutive hits off of J.C. Romero -- the same J.C. Romero who hadn't allowed a run since August -- and then pinch-hitter Jeff Baker stepped up to play hero: