ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- As far as the Redbirds are concerned, tonight should be considered a postseason game. Just go back to last year when they were chasing down the Braves and think about how motivated they were to keep the pressure on Atlanta.
The Dodgers have that same look right now. They’ve won six in a row. They’re hot. They’re confident.
In now way should the Cards expect to get any help either today or tomorrow. If they are going to do this thing, if they’re going to indeed head to Atlanta for that wild card playoff on Friday, they’re going to have to do it themselves.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Good teams respond well to pressure. Bad teams fold like a cheap lawn chair. The Braves and Red Sox were not good teams a season ago and, therefore, couldn’t handle it when the Cardinals and Rays chased them down.
Well the Dodgers are playing exceptional baseball right now and are trying to do to the Redbirds what the Redbirds did to the Braves. Put the pressure on. Hope they collapse.
During its six game winning streak, LA has scored at least seven runs in four of them. It has also held opponents to two or fewer runs in five. The Dodgers aren’t going away, folks. They’ve got the incredibly underrated Chris Capuano (3.69 ERA) starting tonight against Barry Zito and the Giants. Then they would have the absolutely dominant Clayton Kershaw (2.58 ERA) going tomorrow in the finale.
You don’t want to have to go into tomorrow with this thing still undecided. If Carpenter and the Cards don’t win tonight, and Capuano and the Dodgers do, that puts this team in a bad spot.
You would then have to burn Adam Wainwright to get that final win over Cincinnati instead of saving him for a potential game one of the divisional round on Sunday. The entire complexion of the playoffs would change.
On the other hand, should the Redbirds win tonight and clinch this thing, they could then throw Shelby Miller or Joe Kelly or Trevor Rosenthal tomorrow. That would save Wainwright for Sunday at home against the Nationals or Reds (assuming they beat the Braves on Friday behind Kyle Lohse).
See the difference? Ending this tonight versus going into tomorrow without having clinched yet would have huge implications for the postseason. The Dodgers won’t be cooperating. They’re playing too well.
Take tonight on like it’s the postseason.