I have been giving a lot of thought to how impressive the post All-Star run by the big club has been, and they are not alone. Memphis and Springfield secured postseason berths in quite different ways, as the revolving 2009 season has proven that the Cardinals still have plenty of depth.
Tonight’s focus has to remain on the St. Louis squad, however, given the last 30+ days have to closing in on a record. The Cubs still have a reasonable shot of playing their way into Wild Card contention but at just over .500 baseball, Chicago now sits 11 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. That number is quite amazing since the two teams were tied going into play just a month ago but wait until you hear the next fact.
Taking advantage of the August schedule, St. Louis hasn’t dropped a game in the standings since pushing past the North Siders. I even verified by scrolling day by day on the schedule just to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. Yes, the Birds on the Bat had a great month and yes, Chicago failed to capitalize on any of their few chances.
Now the big stories shift to Kyle Lohse and John Smoltz, much better ‘problems’ to have this time of the year. Mitchell Boggs finds himself the odd man out again in the rotation battle, but I believe that will be short-lived. I’m still learning the WordPress way, so the PH8 faithful will have to forgive me during my in-progress posting.
With that in mind, I’m tackling a few different affliate angles but in no way trying to take away from the awesome job the boys over at FR do. If that site still isn’t on your morning to-do list, get with it and bookmark it stat! Erik and the gang are in overdrive this time of the year and will have all the AAA and AA playoff action you could want. I’m smelling some prospect lists coming down the pipes as well, so September will have plenty of everything for all the Cardinals faithful.
The feel-good story of the season has to be the Redbirds, who saved their best for the last year of the decade. Congrats to Pete Parise and everyone else for Memphis who had to step up and deal with every kind of distraction possible this campaign. They open up the first round September 9th @ Albuquerque.
Thanks to Erin Bolen over at the News-Leader, Springfield coverage hasn’t missed a bit. The playoff series with NW Arkansas starts at Hammonds Field and features what I think is the most unique postseason style in baseball. The Naturals won the second half North title after the SCards claimed the first half crown, giving Springfield a chance to wash away a last-place finish in the second half.
Many eyes this Labor Day were following current ace Chris Carpenter (looking at you, Nick!) kicking butt in cheese country, but he wasn’t the only one drawing attention. First-rounder Shelby Miller closed out pro season number one with another Carp trick — limiting the damage. Miller did give up his first two earned runs but a K and double-play ended the threat and showed the Texan doesn’t get rattled easily.
I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Holiday weekend and that work doesn’t come too early for any of you.