The Cardinals season may be over, but they’re still playing for pride. This team has taken heat for appearing disinterested and lacking a pulse when times got tough.
But to the Cards credit, they haven’t thrown in the towel even after watching the Reds celebrate the division title Tuesday night. The Cardinals may have been the preseason favorite but the Reds were simply the better team.
Chris Carpenter had his battles with the Reds all season. The right-hander sparked the brawl in Cincinnati during the Cards series sweep in August. The teams went in opposite directions after that and the Reds cruised to the division title.
Carpenter was on the mound Thursday facing the Colorado Rockies and trying to end a four-start losing streak during which he had a 7.17 ERA. The Cards veteran pitched a complete game and gave up just one run on four hits for his 16th win of the season. He leads the majors with 35 starts.
Albert Pujols led the offensive attack with two hits and his major-league leading 118th RBI. He passed Carlos Gonzalez who did not play for Colorado.
The Rockies were eliminated from postseason contention Tuesday. It was their 10th loss in 11 games. The Rocktober campaign built on red hot September play crumbled with an ice cold finish. The Rockies and Cards are just finishing disappointing years and looking forward to next year.
Pujols and Gonzalez were once at the center of a Triple Crown race with Joey Votto and thus also leading candidates for the MVP award. While both are deserving based on outstanding seasons, Votto is the clear favorite because of his team’s success. He was the leader of a surprising young club that won the division. It is the Reds first trip to the playoffs since 1995.