St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals play spoilers, at least
With the St. Louis Cardinals staring down the barrel of offseason- not postseason- little was left for which to play other than spoiling the aspirations of the Brewers.
The St. Louis Cardinals will not play baseball in October. Well, sort of… They will finish their 2017 season on October 1 (tomorrow) but will advance no further. And, as poetically painful as that might be, it is- at least to me- likely the best scenario for the club.
I say the statement above not out of anger. Had I written those lines after Thursday night’s game, the night the St. Louis Cardinals were mathematically eliminated, I might have felt differently. With the passage of a few days, and with the downing of more than a few beers, I can now say without anger that this year’s team did not deserve the postseason.
That all said and out of the way, knowing that your season is definitely finished with three games left to play, the St. Louis Cardinals could have sealed the envelope on 2017 and bid it a fond farewell. And many of them did.
Wisely so, Yadier Molina will likely not touch the diamond again this season wearing the full catcher’s gear. I wholeheartedly agree with this.
Likewise, Matt Carpenter is definitely missing the remainder of the 2017 campaign in an effort to avoid surgery. The only part of me that agrees with this is the side interested in him keeping trade value.
Without taking a breath, Adam Wainwright has also been shut down for the remaining three inconsequential (but are they? More on that in a moment…) games. I agreed with shutting-down Yadi because I want to see him back and healthy in 2018 but I just can’t bring myself to say the same thing about Waino.
I do wish him well and if healthy then I hope he tears me a new one in 2018. That said, I’m not sold that he will…
Let’s talk for a moment then about the idea that these final three games were/are inconsequential. While the St. Louis Cardinals had little-to-nothing for which to play, the Milwaukee Brewers- visiting Busch Stadium for the final time this year- had everything for which to play.
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The Milwaukee Brewers were in the hot seat the the St. Louis Cardinals held in 2016. This year, the St. Louis Cardinals were sitting firmly in the seat that the 2016 San Francisco Giants sat in facing the Cardinals and working to disrupt future plans.
So, while many St. Louis Cardinals named Aledmys Diaz, Paul DeJong, and Jose Martinez– three players interested in continuing the growth of their numbers- were working to show that they deserve a starting job in 2018, the Brewers were working just as diligently to stay alive. And to do so the Brewers would need to keep winning and pray that the Rockies would lose.
Enter Friday night’s contest. The St. Louis Cardinals, save for the names above, put up little fight against the Brew Crew. Ultimately the Brewers won. Score if you are a Brewers fan or named Trevor Hooth who betrayed us at Redbird Rants to go edit the FanSided blog about the Brewers. I’m not bitter though (you know I’m playing, Trevor).
But wait, the Brewers- thanks to their win- did not advance any as the Rockies also won. But the Brewers were still alive.
Enter Saturday’s contest. What, wait, these St. Louis Cardinals still had fight in them? While it certainly didn’t seem like it early in the game, the likes of DeJong and Martinez (with some help from Stephen Piscotty and Harrison Bader) made the Brewers bullpen look like they had pitched all season for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Thanks to late inning heroics, the Cardinals were victorious over the Brewers making them the 2017 equivalent of the 2016 Giants to the Cardinals. The Cardinals effectively slammed the door on any hope that the Brewers would grab a wild card spot.
So, while I’m glad to know that the St. Louis Cardinals maintain some spunk, I pity the fans who hold tickets to Sunday’s contest as this will be two clubs going nowhere but the golf course once the game completes. Will either club play anyone of any merit or will they avoid injuring anyone with a presumptive future as a starter in 2018? I guess we will find out tomorrow.
At least the Cardinals won once more– this was something that I honestly thought would elude this club in these final three games. I would love to see one more win on Sunday as I will be watching before the winter of my discontent settles in. Thanks for reading!