That’s really all the Cardinals had to do this season, with any sort of regularity, to be staring a playoff berth right in the eyes.
Sure, 5-10 against the Brewers hasn’t done them any favors either (and 2-4 against the Royals, and 3-4 against the Giants).
They’ve had their other opportunities, they’ve had many chances to sweep series after winning the first two games only to get blown out in the final game (usually with a hamstrung lineup because of Tony’s ‘getaway day’ setups and a taxed bullpen). They’ve struggled with injuries, but mostly persevered and sometimes thrived on being the underdog and the ‘pest’.
Please don’t view this post as negative, rather, it is one of lament.
All they had to do was consistently beat the Pirates. Yet this afternoon, the Cards stand at 7-8 versus the Pittsburgh squad this season. A team that is 61-86 on the season has bested the Cardinals 8 times in 15 games. A team that traded away guys like Jason Bay and Xavier Nady at the trade deadline has routinely put a beating on the Redbirds this season.
- The Cardinals have surrendered double digit runs in a game only eight times this season. Four of those were against the Pirates.
- The Pirates have scored 90 runs against the Cardinals in 15 games this season. To put that in perspective, the Brewers have scored only 74 against the Cards in the same number of games. That’s a difference of over a run per game.
- Albeit highly unscientific, if the Pirates played the Cardinals at a .411 clip to match their season win percentage, they win 6 games instead of 8. That puts the Cardinals only 2.5 games back, with the Brewers still having 6 to play against the Cubs.
I know, I know – woulda, coulda, shoulda. If the Cardinals had anything resembling a Major League bullpen for the first half of the year, this is all a moot point as well.
Again, I’m not being negative – it’s just a disappointing way to look at the Cards’ performance as this season winds down. Hopefully Adam Wainwright can get them back on track this evening.