In an NL Central Division race that is tighter than Ryan Braun‘s uniform pants, the St. Louis Cardinals have been granted some breathing room by the San Diego Padres, who won three out four from the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. The Cardinals need to buckle down and learn a lesson from recent activity in their division.
The Cardinals have just lost two out of four games to the Colorado Rockies, cellar dweller of the NL West. The Cardinals have a terrible habit of losing to awful teams on the road. If they want to win their division and avoid the wild card game, they need to break it now.
Next stop for the Cardinals is Milwaukee, where the Milwaukee Brewers would like nothing better than to be spoiler to the Redbirds, who wrecked their 2011 World Series hopes. The Cardinals will play their last three games at home against the Chicago Cubs, another cellar dweller. The Cubs always play the Cardinals like it’s their world series. Chicago Cubs’ second baseman Darwin Barney told the St Louis press in early August that the Cubs enjoy taking it to the Cardinals and playing spoiler.
Losing teams have things to play for, even when they’re more than 20 games out in their division. They have pride. Rookies are auditioning for next year. Veteran players are padding their stats.
The Cardinals simply cannot let these losers run roughshod over their playoff aspirations. They need to mend their ways and follow the example of the Cincinnati Reds, who went down to Houston this week and clobbered the Astros.