St. Louis Cardinals: All is not lost for postseason

michaeldavidmiles
Sep 7, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter (13) dives for a ground ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter (13) dives for a ground ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Cardinals were successful in securing a win last night against the Brewers but the win was for naught as it only kept pace in the Wild Card race since the Mets won too.  Will the Cardinals regain a wild card spot?

After a few weeks of holding the second NL wild card spot, the St. Louis Cardinals watched this post slip from their hands on Thursday night when they fell to the nothing-to-lose Brewers.  The loss might not have been so bad if it weren’t for the surging Mets who usurped the wild card spot with their win and the Cards’ loss on Thursday.

St. Louis Cardinals fans were frustrated by the loss, for sure, but were frustrated even more so by the final score.  The Cardinals fell on Thursday to the score of 5-12.  5-12?!?  To the Brewers?!  Personally, I turned the game off early: didn’t want to grind my teeth into oblivion.  My frustrations were exacerbated on Friday morning when I learned that the Mets had won their game and were now the second wild card spot.

The Cardinals’ loss placed the Birds as the door-knockers looking in at the teams holding the wild card spots now: the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants.  As it turns out, the Mets are on the rise with players returning from injuries (read: Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera) and the Giants are on the decline (having gone 4-6 in their last ten games).  Can the St. Louis Cardinals battle back to a spot?

Let’s look at what lies ahead for these teams.  Starting with the rising Mets, the boys from New York face the Braves today and tomorrow and then travel to Washington to face the Nationals.  Their remaining schedule has them facing the Twins, the Braves again, the Phillies, the Marlins, and finishing with the Phillies.  This is undoubtedly the easiest remaining schedule of the contenders.

Looking at the currently-slumping Giants, they will face the Diamondbacks today and tomorrow– a team they lost to last night.  After facing Arizona, the Giants start a homestand in which they face the Padres and the Cardinals before heading to Chavez Ravine to face the Dodgers.  The Giants will then finish their season by facing the Padres, Rockies, and Dodgers.

So what about the Cardinals?  The St. Louis Cardinals will finish their series with the Brewers tonight and tomorrow and will then welcome the media darling Cubs to Busch.  Following the Cubs series, the Cardinals will go on the road where they have found greater success than experienced at Busch.

The road trip will begin on Thursday of this week in San Francisco so this should allow an opportunity for the St. Louis Cardinals to make up ground in the wild card race.  Brace yourself, Cardinals fans, as this series promises to be very important while promising late nights of viewing thanks to the time difference.

Following the Giants series, the St. Louis Cardinals will head to Denver to face the Rockies in a home-run-friendly park.  This bodes well for the 2016 Cardinals as the offense loves the long ball.

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After what could be a great trip out west in which the Birds can make up ground in the wild card race, the St. Louis Cardinals must head to Wrigley to face the Cubs.  While this is intimidating to contemplate facing the NL-leading team, the Cubs might be in protection mode by this point and could serve as a helper for the Birds to secure a few (if not all three) wins.

The 2016 St. Louis Cardinals season will conclude with the Cardinals welcoming the Reds and the Pirates to Busch.  These games could also prove costly as the Reds and the Pirates will be playing the spoiler role and could really impact the outcome of the season.

Is all lost?  Absolutely not.  The St. Louis Cardinals, quite frankly, hold their 2016 destiny in their hands since they get to face the Giants with an opportunity to knock them (should they still hold a wild card spot) out of the race or further push them from the conversation.  In addition, the Cardinals have a few series remaining that should garner tallies in the win column.

Next: Successful Sweeps of 2016

What do you think?  Should we St. Louis Cardinals fans “keep on believing” as Journey would instruct (and ironically as the faithful in San Francisco love to sing)?  At what point, after which loss, should we throw in the towel?  Let us know on Twitter and thanks for reading!  Go Cards!

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