ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Don’t look now but the Cardinals are only one game out in the wildcard standings.
It doesn’t seem like they’ve been playing particularly well, and haven’t had a big run yet. None-the-less there they are breathing down the necks of the Pirates, Giants and Dodgers. You would think as owners of the Major League’s best run differential at plus-107 they’d have a 10 game lead in the Central Division at this point, but the Cardinals never seem to do anything the easy way.
The Cards still trail first-place Cincinnati by seven. The odds of catching the Reds don’t look good. But both wildcard spots are very much within their grasp.
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The Cardinals appear to be primed to make a strong push over the last month and a half of the season.They’re getting Jaime Garcia back to join the starting rotation in a few days. That means either Lance Lynn or Joe Kelly will head to the bullpen and give the Cardinals a fire baller to work the middle innings in relief. If any of the other starters should falter and or get hurt, they’ll have an insurance arm out there in the pen who could be moved back to the rotation. Much better to have too many starters than not enough. Trevor Rosenthal is back up from the minors and gives the Cardinals a right handed reliever with a fastball that touches 100 mile an hour. The pitching appears to be in the best shape it has been in all season.
The upcoming weekend series against Pittsburgh will be huge. The Pirates have started to falter. The Cardinals will a chance to catch and pass the Pirates in the wildcard race. This will be the most important series of the season to date. It’s been a rather clumsy climb up the standings for the Cardinals, but they’re now back in good position to make a strong run for another playoff spot.