The St. Louis Cardinals held off the Cincinnati Reds once again, showing signs they may be shaking off a little rust. Redbird Rants editor Steve Ungrey offers his two cents.
It didn’t look good early on for the St. Louis Cardinals.
At least for the first inning, anyway.
Having John Lackey on the hill provided some comfort as St. Louis scored single runs in the third, seventh and eighth innings on the way to Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
This, and any win the Cardinals get down the stretch, is a big victory. It edges St. Louis ever closer to that magic number needed to clinch the National League Central title and avoid the dreaded one-game playoff with either the Chicago Cubs or Pittsburgh Pirates.
St. Louis dropped its magic number to eight and improved to 95-56 overall. Any combination of eight Cardinal wins and Pirate losses would give St. Louis another NL Central championship.
Lackey was unstoppable through seven innings, as he gave up one run on nine hits while striking out seven batters. This is the Cardinals pitching I am used to seeing in pressure situations, not the weak drivel we’ve been handed in the last couple weeks.
Matt Carpenter had two hits for the Cardinals, but it was the performance of Tommy Pham that drove home the victory. Pham drove in two runs, including one on an RBI double in the third inning, to give the Cardinals a victory.
On Wednesday, the Cardinals will close the series with another 8:15 p.m. contest before they welcome the Milwaukee Brewers for a four-game set.