The St. Louis Cardinals have been in a grueling stretch of games and finished it off with a dominating series win against the Reds, extending their hot streak against the division rivals.
When the St. Louis Cardinals returned to play on August 15, fans knew we were in for a lot of games. No matter what we all saw on the schedule, I am not sure we were ready for the onslaught of games the team has played in the past 18 days.
At times, it seemed that fans didn’t even have time to get angry about on-field outcomes. Whether you were happy or upset about how things played out in any one game, the team usually got back on the field before any of us had too much time to get angry about it.
After their stretch of 23 games in 18 days, the Cardinals sit right at 14-14 on the year, happily in second place (a playoff spot) in the NL Central by a full game over the Brewers. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again now: you cannot be mad that the Cardinals just went a game over .500 in this stretch of games. They have finally reached their first of only two total days off in the rest of their schedule.
Even though the team sits at .500 overall, they’ve proven their worth over at least one of their NL Central Rivals.
Coming into the season, all the talk was about the Cincinnati Reds. After their pitching staff was one of the best in the entire MLB in 2019, they added Nickolas Castellanos and Mike Moustakas to their already potent lineup. Many experts and projection systems had them finishing at the top of the NL Central.
However, they currently sit at 16-21 on the year, fourth in the division. The Cardinals have played a large part in that.
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To this point, the Cards have played seven games against the Reds, going 5-2. They won three out of four in the first series and were just one hit away from sweeping them this past weekend. I’m not sure if the Cards play harder against the Reds because they know they were picked as favorites, but the Cardinals haven’t just beat them, they’ve pummeled them.
In the seven games, the Cardinals have outscored the Reds 42-21. The 16-run outburst on Tuesday helps, but that is an average of six runs per game. The least amount of runs the Cards have scored against them this year was still two runs. In their 28 games, the Cardinals have scored two or fewer runs eight times. Only doing it once against the Reds illustrates just how good they have hit them.
For the Reds, the antidote to their struggles is unclear. They have so much talent on their roster, they just aren’t performing. Their only regular batting over .250 is Jessie Winker, who is lighting the world on fire. Castellanos has 10 homers, but other than that, everyone is ice cold.
Thankfully for us, we don’t have to worry about why they are bad. We just get to enjoy that the Cardinals are beating them.
At five games below .500, the it’ll be tough for the Reds to work their way back into the top of the division. The Cardinals are always judged most by how they fair in their own division, and for now, they are holding their own against the Cubs while beating up on the Reds.
I’m sure the Cardinals were very relieved to finally enjoy a day off, but there is no rest for the weary. Starting Friday the Cards start their second five-game series of the year against the Cubs at Wrigley.