Since I last made an entry, I expected the Reds would still be holding onto the NLC, with the Cards having little chance to catch them. I just didn’t expect the level of play they have performed, going 19-3 since the ASB. The last two nights they’ve done a couple of favors for the Cards, taking the first two games over the Pirates. With the Cards now having won 8 of their last 9 home games, they’ve moved within 2.5 games of the Pirates and Braves for the final wildcard spot. The Dodgers are right on them at 3 games back, and Arizona is playing better ball lately, sitting a 5.5 games back.
The Cards are in a stretch of 16 of 19 at home, with the only 3 games away being against the depleted Phillies. Looking ahead, the Giants are coming to town for 4 games starting Monday, and the biggest weakness of the 2012 Cards will be tested as they try to win low scoring games against the best SP staff in baseball. The Cards could enter the series against the Giants at 10 games over .500 for the first time in 2012, but it’s likely going to take 20 games over .500 just to grab a wildcard spot this year. So, the best thing to do is to continue to root for the Reds as they play other teams in the way of the Cards and a WC spot. Of course, it won’t matter if the Cards don’t make a run during this home stand.
Matt Holliday is really putting together a monster year, even though that won’t change the minds of some who still feel he isn’t “clutch” enough. The race for the NL MVP is going to come down between Holliday and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, with it going to the one who is on a playoff team in the end. Adam Wainwright is really starting to look like the AW of old over the last few outings. The results are there, along with the break and bite on the curveball and the cutter. The control of all his pitches seems to be there now.
I didn’t post around the trade deadline because I just didn’t anticipate the Cards making a significant move. I actually think the trade of Zack Cox for Edward Mujica was more of a move to get Cox off of the 40 man roster because of the now outlawed way he was put on it in the first place after being drafted. Now longer can a player demand such things after being drafted, and Cox didn’t have a future with the Cards anyway. Mujica isn’t worth getting excited about. With David Freese blocking his path and the Cards drafting 3 3B in the first few rounds this year, it was clear Cox would be moved, and the trade allowed Trevor Rosenthal to go to AAA for some fine tuning for 2013.