Adam Wainwright's 200th career win is now out of the way, but with 12 games to go, there is still time for the Cardinals to play a significant role in determining the fate of their rivals.
Two series in particular could really be huge for the Cardinals. After this series with Milwaukee, they'll go up against the Padres, who are falling out of contention themselves. But after that, they'll play the Brewers and Reds each one more time.
The NL Central race has yet to be decided at this point, but it's looking like it'll be the Brewers who will come out on top. Wainwright even said as much in his postgame interview after his 200th win. But the race may not be over so quickly.
It's very possible that when the Cardinals travel to Milwaukee next week, they'll do so with a chance to delay the Brewers' celebration. The Cubs are struggling right now, having lost five consecutive games. But the Reds aren't dead yet, and they'll look to try and get back into the race.
They're in a favorable spot in the Wild Card race at the moment, but the race for the Central isn't over yet.
Assuming that the Reds are still winning games, the Cardinals will have a chance to impact that race when they head to Milwaukee.
After the Milwaukee series, it's back home to finish the regular season against the Reds. It's not likely that at this point, the Cardinals will still be able to impact the NL Central race, but it is possible. It's the Wild Card race however, that appears to be coming right down to the wire.
Cincinnati and Chicago are both tied for the third Wild Card spot, and the Marlins and Giants are not far behind. The race is between four teams who could all still be close to one another in the standings by the final weekend of the season.
Perhaps the Cardinals can bring their best and find a way to play spoiler on the Reds yet again, just as they did a few weeks ago. But this time, there could be a chance to put the nail in the coffin for the Reds and completely ruin their postseason hopes.
So while the Cardinals will not reach the postseason, there is some merit to the final two series of the season, and it'll be exciting to see what they can do to affect the pennant race.