ATLANTA — After a long night of dramatic baseball, the Phillies know their first postseason opponent. And it's the team that gave them the most trouble during the regular season.
The St. Louis Cardinals will head to Citizens Bank Park to face the Phillies in the division series that begins Saturday. St. Louis won six of nine games against the Phillies during the regular season and was the team that started an eight-game Phillies tailspin near the end.
"We played them nine times and they're a challenge for us," Charlie Manuel said. "They have good hitters and, at times, they can be a little weak on defense. Their bullpen has talent, big arms, but they were kind of inconsistent. It was kind of a weakness so far, but they do have a lot of talent, so you never know when their bullpen is going to be good."
But the Phillies are riding a four-game winning streak, just played in a postseason atmosphere while eliminating the Braves, and are undefeated with their regular lineup -- which faced St. Louis twice (both wins) in 2011. They also have their pitching staff lined up better than the Cardinals, who had to use Chris Carpenter to win Game 162 just to qualify for the postseason.