The St. Louis Cardinals just can’t make things easy
By Matt Graves
This weekend is the last series for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2019 regular season. With plenty of drama left, why can the team never make it easy?
These 2019 St. Louis Cardinals… I’m sure it’s happened before, but I don’t know if I’ve seen a team that can collectively flip the minds and hearts of a fan base quicker than what this year’s team is able to do on a regular basis.
A week and a half ago, when the Cardinals lost back-to-back series to the Rockies and the Brewers, the season was “lost” and everything was burning. After beating out the Nationals and doing the impossible of sweeping the Cubs at home, fans were on a manic high.
Now the fan pendulum has swung all the way back the other way it seems as a series loss to the Diamondbacks will have the Brewers either 1.0 or 2.0 games back following the 11:35 CT Brewers game today.
The Diamondbacks series was frustrating because it wasn’t necessarily any one person’s fault for how the final two games went. After losing in the 19th inning in game 2 without pulling any of the starting position players over the 2+ games they played in one night, manager Mike Shildt was forced to play all the members of the bench mafia on Wednesday (except Tommy Edman).
While the backups did fine in the game on Wednesday, Michael Wacha‘s injury-shortened start on top of an already-taxed bullpen let the Diamondbacks explode for nine runs. It’s fair to place at least some of the blame for the team’s performance on Mike Shildt for not subbing out at least a couple of the regulars in the low to mid ‘teens innings of the game Tuesday.
If at least some of the regulars got to play on Wednesday, the game could’ve gone a lot better.
It’s not wise to cry over spilled milk but now there is a frenzy among Cardinals’ and Brewers’ fans worrying about the Brewers catching the Cardinals like they did the Cubs last year. While this is a valid concern, the Cardinals are still in the advantageous spot, despite what the Redbird Rants twitter mentions seem to believe.
The Cardinals are not making anything easy, but they still have a better chance to win the division than the Brewers. All they have to do, just like with the Cubs series last weekend, is take care of their own business. A stumble out West hurts, but nothing is lost yet.
If you scroll around twitter, you can see that the Brewers celebrated winning a playoff berth in a very different way than the Cardinals.
On Sunday, the Cardinals just shared a few bottles of champagne as a team. They delayed gratification because they made it clear that they had a game the next day, they had to travel, and they weren’t done. There was plenty of work left.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Here is Willson Contreras’ first message for St. Louis fans
- How do the St. Louis Cardinals stack up with Willson Contreras?
- Cardinals: The insane asking price the Athletics had for Sean Murphy
- St. Louis Cardinals: Ask me anything with Josh Jacobs – 12/8
I would imagine that when (if) the Cardinals win the division, they will have their night of partying. For a team like the Brewers with such slim margins, so little room to mess up, partying at all the night before a game at 12:35 ET the next day seems a little short-sighted. A game thrown away today could be the only reason they don’t win the division.
The Brewers fans earned it, I don’t blame them, congrats to them, but they didn’t have to celebrate yet. This conversation could open up a big can of worms with Brewers fans, but there is a definite difference in the mindset of the clubs.
Even if the Cardinals and the Brewers have the exact same mental mindset that “there’s still more to win,” which I’m sure they do, the Cardinals went about it in a classier way. Call it old fashioned, but I am much more of a fan of the way the Cardinals went about their business than the way the Brewers did.
I’m not anti-fun, I am pro-fun at the right times.
Both teams have a tough last series but the fact remains that the Brewers have to win more than the Cardinals do. While they are hotter than the sun right now, I’d rather be in the Cardinals shoes than in theirs.