St. Louis Cardinals: On the wrong side of the leapfrog
The St. Louis Cardinals lost their second competition with the Pirates while the Brewers stole one from the Cubs. Thus the leapfrogging continued.
On Saturday I wrote about the St. Louis Cardinals leapfrogging their way into the postseason and did so with everything looking up. Then Saturday night happened and the Cardinals and Lance Lynn met a buzz saw in the first inning of their second game with Pittsburgh.
Where the Cardinals had moved ahead of the Brewers in the Wild Card hunt, the drop of Saturday’s contest combined with the Brewers win put the Brewers back in front of the Cardinals.
While that outcome was not to be wished, the bright side was that the Padres managed to blank the Rockies which allowed both the Brewers and the Cardinals to move closer to the postseason. After Saturday’s contests, the Brewers were a mere one game out of the second WC spot and the Cardinals were 1.5 games back.
As of the time of this writing, the St. Louis Cardinals have just dropped their second-straight game to the Pirates. This is not good. We all know that. Helping things, however, is the fact that the Cubs are currently beating the Brewers.
If the Cubs defeat the Brewers, all is not necessarily lost UNLESS the Rockies manage a win. IF all three clubs can lose today then nothing changes. This is the best case scenario since the St. Louis Cardinals- thanks to their lack of play- seem insistent upon relying on others to determine their fate.
As Cardinals Nation awaits the outcome of the Brewers-Cubs and Rockies-Padres games, the St. Louis Cardinals sit in the negative position of the leapfrog: looking directly at the rear end of the position in front.
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And the worst-case scenario? If the Brewers pull out a come-from-behind win and if the Rockies win, then the St. Louis Cardinals will sit 2.5 games back and the Brewers will remain at 1.0 games back. If the Rockies win and the Brewers lose, then the deference between the Cards and the Brewers will remain the same with each of these dropping back one whole game from the Rockies.
In short, the St. Louis Cardinals cannot afford for the offense to go stagnant as it did today. Likewise, the Cards cannot experience the pitiful performance of Seung-hwan Oh as he showed today– he MUST control his home runs allowed.
But hold onto your hats, Cardinals fans, as the Cubs enter Busch stadium for the final time in the regular season tomorrow for a four-game set. Wins in this series could be paramount to the future. Also, following the Cubs, as I shared yesterday, the Brewers will make their regular season 3-game appearance at Busch.
If the Cardinals can keep the deficit close to the Brewers- or better yet surpass them via leapfrog again- then that final series could be the biggest of the entirety of 2017.
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I pessimistically predict that the Cubs series will do more damage than aid in the postseason hopes of the St. Louis Cardinals. Sorry.