The Cardinals extended their lead over the Dodgers and Brewers yesterday to 3.5 games, with 8 games left to play. The Cardinals are on a roll, but will need to take care of business against the Astros in the final two games of the series. I can’t say I’m on board with Jaime Garcia starting on the road tonight, not with Joe Kelly available and Garcia’s road troubles, especially in Houston. Chris Carpenter will go tomorrow in what we all hope will be for the sweep in Houston. Carpenter looked good in his first start of the year, throwing just 77 pitches in 5 innings. If not for a 2 run lead being blown with 2 outs in the 9th, the Cards would be going for their 9th win in a row tonight. Carpenter will be on a 100 pitch limit tomorrow.
After the Cardinals finish these final two games at Houston, they will travel home to finish their schedule for the year, playing a 3 game series against both the Nationals and the Reds. The Brewers have 9 games left starting tonight. After a 3 game series with the Reds, they come home for 3 games with the Astros and 3 against the Padres. The Dodgers have the next 3 games on the road against the Padres, and then come home to face the Rockies for 3 and the Giants for 3.
The solution to win the second WC is an easy one. If the Cards go 6-2 in their final 8 games, it’s all theirs. Sweeping the Astros still seems like a necessity given the remaining schedules.
It was great to see Yadier Molina back in the lineup last night. Matt Holliday could use a couple of days off to rest his back. The status on David Freese is up in the air, after he rolled his ankle before last night’s game. Winning the next two games would go a long way in giving these key players some time off, as well as Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig. Hopefully Mike Matheny has Garcia on a short leash tonight and has Kelly ready to go.