Chris Carpenter (11-9) struck out 11 and allowed two hits in his 15th career complete-game shutout as St. Louis kept up September charge with an 8-0 win at Houston. The Cardinals won for the 23rd time in 31 games.  Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves lost a 3-2 lead in the ninth and then lost their playoff berth with a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Phillies in 13 innings.

The Cardinals were 10.5 games out of the wild card on August 25th, and 8.5 games on September 5th, but after a sweep over Atlanta that cut the lead down to 4.5 with 18 to play, the Cardinals knew they had a chance.

Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman comment on the wild card

The first seven Cardinals reached base in the first inning off Houston starter Brett Myers who gave up five runs. Just how good has Myers been? In the last four games, he’s allowed just four runs total.

Seven different hitters drove in runs and only Allen Craig and David Freese has a multiple hit night.

Recap of the final night in Houston from Bill Pollock (2:00)