The Cardinals' series with the Braves is an important test

The Cardinals bounced back from their series loss in Miami by sweeping the Giants. Now, a big test is at hand with the Braves in town.
San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages

The Cardinals have once again found ways to win games and fight back after being punched in the face.

The series loss in Miami was certainly deflating, and the Cardinals came into the weekend needing to bounce back as they matched up with the Giants. It's safe to say that they bounced back in a big way, pulling off a three-game sweep.

What impressed me the most about this series is that when the Cardinals took a gut punch, they responded almost immediately. I was a little concerned after they fell behind early on Saturday, but they punched back and ultimately won the game.

And yesterday, when their 4-0 lead shrunk to 4-3, Brandon Crawford came up with a huge hit to make it 5-3 and give the Cardinals some much-needed insurance before Ryan Helsley shut the door and secured the sweep.

Now, a big test is at hand. The Braves are in town, and they're playing some good baseball, having just won two out of three against the Yankees.

Braves series presents a test for Cardinals

While the Braves haven't been the dominant force they had been over the past few seasons this year, you still can't take them for granted. As things stand today, the Braves and Cardinals hold the top two Wild Card spots in the National League, respectively.

Should the Cardinals reach the postseason, these are the types of teams they're going to have to face. These are teams with strong starting pitching that can be trusted in big games.

The Cardinals already had a big test with the Phillies earlier this month. They lost two out of three in that set but managed to eke out a win in the finale. Now comes time for the next test.

The Braves are a little banged up, as Spencer Strider and Ronald Acuna Jr. are both out for the season. Those are big pieces that will be missing, while the Cardinals are getting Willson Contreras back.

But the offense remains inconsistent, and in the final two games of the series, they'll have to face Reynaldo Lopez, who has the best ERA in all of baseball, and a resurgent Chris Sale. The Braves are still a team that you can't take for granted, even without some of their best players.

This is another great opportunity for the Cardinals to prove that they're a legitimate contender. A series win against the Braves, even while Atlanta's a little banged up, would be a huge confidence builder for this team.