2018 St. Louis Cardinals

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the Front Range
Pitching match-ups for this weekend's huge series vs. the Dodgers:

Thursday: Kershaw (7-5, 2.42) vs. Gomber (5-0, 2.93)
Friday: Buehler (6-5, 3.09) vs. Flaherty (8-6, 2.92)
Saturday: Hill (8-5, 3.88) vs. Gant (7-5, 3.16)
Sunday: TBA vs. Wainwright (1-3, 4.70)

One thing to note this weekend is that the Saturday game is a nationally televised Fox game set to begin at 12:05 PM CT and the Sunday game is a Sunday night game with a 7:05 PM first pitch.
This is going to be a battle. A part of me feels that this is the season for us. If we take the series, we make the wild card. If not we are sitting home. I know we have a few more games against the cubs, Mil and Atl, but this one stands out to me.
 
This is going to be a battle. A part of me feels that this is the season for us. If we take the series, we make the wild card. If not we are sitting home. I know we have a few more games against the cubs, Mil and Atl, but this one stands out to me.
Yea 3 out of 4 really has the Cardinals up into 80% territory to secure at least the 2nd wild card. It would put the Dodgers 4 games back, nearly insurmountable with so few games left. A split would be good as well.

Cardinals have a tough schedule left, but can't really complain about being able to control your own destiny. They're able to put the Dodgers in the trash this series, and at least be a sweep away from catching the Brewers and Cubs in those last 6 games.
 
the Front Range
Waino has an amazing pitching night. So happy to see him pitch near 100 pitches and not allow a runner past 2nd all night.
 
Waino has an amazing pitching night. So happy to see him pitch near 100 pitches and not allow a runner past 2nd all night.
Pretty awesome to see him do that under the circumstances. Absolutely saved the season. There was very little hope of us coming back from 2 games down with our schedule. Tied up and still have a chance.
 
the Front Range
Pretty awesome to see him do that under the circumstances. Absolutely saved the season. There was very little hope of us coming back from 2 games down with our schedule. Tied up and still have a chance.
I still have hope. Was listening to the post game, it sounded like the staff wanted to rest everyone this weekend for one final push. The bullpen is rested and guys like yadi and Carp have been rested. They knew they had to take this one and started everyone and used Hicks, Norris (though his outing was short) and Martinez. They saw resting everyone as a sacrifice but felt that if they could walk away tied or ahead, they would have a fighting chance at the playoffs. Seems like a gamble but it paid off. If Waino doesn't pitch well, that looks like that worst plan ever. He was a monster tonight.

Now looking forward, they can make a serious push. The dodgers have to face the Rox. That will be brutal for both teams. If we take care of business, we can control our own outcome.
 
Kelso, WA
Off the subject, the Pirates just beat the Royals, 7-6. That is the 151st win for the National League in interleague games. With a total of 300 scheduled, the NL has now clinched the season series against the AL, the first time since 2003.
 
the Front Range
Why would you bring in Martinez in the 8th with a 4 run lead?
Shildt said he wanted to rest other guys, specifically mentioned Hicks. Seemed odd to me, but if he is trying to rest certain guys I can understand it. Carlos was warmed up and then Bader hit the 3 run homer. Martinez has a propensity to take his foot off of the gas pedal in situations like that.
 
Champaign
After the 3rd loss to the Dodgers, they looked like they were toast. Maybe Waino woke them up. DeYong, Wong and Martinez look like they are getting hot, or at least more productive. Get the sweep tomorrow.
 
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After the 3rd loss to the Dodgers, they looked like they were toast. Maybe Waino woke them up. DeYong, Wong and Martinez look like they are getting hot, or at least more productive. Get the sweep tomorrow.
Wong and Gyroko being out at the same time and then getting back into the swing of things was really the cause behind of the early September swoon. Ozuna has a 138 wRC+ since the all star break, his shoulder seems better after that cortizone shot/ quick DL trip. He's a huge piece to this offense.

Shildt said he wanted to rest other guys, specifically mentioned Hicks. Seemed odd to me, but if he is trying to rest certain guys I can understand it. Carlos was warmed up and then Bader hit the 3 run homer. Martinez has a propensity to take his foot off of the gas pedal in situations like that.
It really seems like Shildt has a pitching road map he schedules out several days in advance and sticks to it if possible to keep guys fresh. This leads to weird situations like Carlos pitching, but at least there's strategy behind it, unlike Matheny's fly by the seat of your pants panic button "strategy". They should at least get Gallegos up in the pen from AAA since their playoffs are done, he's been lights out since getting traded for earlier this year.
 
the Front Range
I’m happy O’Neil got that walk-off. It seems like a different guy each night, which gives them all confidence. I sure hope we can keep it up!
 
Centralia, IL
6 more. We've won 6 of our last 7. Unfortunately Colorado got a sweep this weekend as well. What do we think, at least 4 wins out of the 6 remaining will get it done?
 
the Front Range
6 more. We've won 6 of our last 7. Unfortunately Colorado got a sweep this weekend as well. What do we think, at least 4 wins out of the 6 remaining will get it done?
4 of 6 would be a good goal. Unfortunately, I think that would only get us a tie with the Rox. Anything less than 4 probably has us sitting out the postseason. Our only other hope is that the Dodgers cool off. The Diamondbacks have really given up at the end here but I still have hope Greinke and Ray can put up a good fight.
In short, We really have to battle for our spot. By thursday, the picture will be more clear.
 
Kelso, WA
4 of 6 would be a good goal. Unfortunately, I think that would only get us a tie with the Rox. Anything less than 4 probably has us sitting out the postseason. Our only other hope is that the Dodgers cool off. The Diamondbacks have really given up at the end here but I still have hope Greinke and Ray can put up a good fight.
In short, We really have to battle for our spot. By Thursday, the picture will be more clear.
Good point. The Dodgers play 3 in Arizona, then finish with 3 in San Francisco. If the Rockies stay hot, the Diamonbacks and Giants may be the keys to the Cardinals getting into the playoffs.
 
4 of 6 would be a good goal. Unfortunately, I think that would only get us a tie with the Rox. Anything less than 4 probably has us sitting out the postseason. Our only other hope is that the Dodgers cool off. The Diamondbacks have really given up at the end here but I still have hope Greinke and Ray can put up a good fight.
In short, We really have to battle for our spot. By thursday, the picture will be more clear.
Even if the Cardinals go 3-3 over the next 6, Rockies have to go 5-2 to tie. Cardinals go 4-2, Rockies have to go 6-1 just to tie. If you think about it that way, it's much more comforting. Going 5-2 or 6-1 over any 7 game stretch is tough, even for the best teams (and the Rockies really aren't that good, relative to the other playoff contenders).

Brewers are doing a bullpen game against Flaherty tonight, that swings at least tonight's 1 game pretty heavily in the Cardinals favor. Cubs could have the division locked up by that series, at least the last game or 2, so they'll be throwing lesser pitchers than usual most likely. It's not as daunting as it looks (which is why Cardinals have 79% playoff odds, Rockies have 28% on Fangraphs)
 
Even if the Cardinals go 3-3 over the next 6, Rockies have to go 5-2 to tie. Cardinals go 4-2, Rockies have to go 6-1 just to tie. If you think about it that way, it's much more comforting. Going 5-2 or 6-1 over any 7 game stretch is tough, even for the best teams (and the Rockies really aren't that good, relative to the other playoff contenders).

Brewers are doing a bullpen game against Flaherty tonight, that swings at least tonight's 1 game pretty heavily in the Cardinals favor. Cubs could have the division locked up by that series, at least the last game or 2, so they'll be throwing lesser pitchers than usual most likely. It's not as daunting as it looks (which is why Cardinals have 79% playoff odds, Rockies have 28% on Fangraphs)
Why are the brewers using their bullpen when they could still catch the cubs and we could still catch them?
 
Why are the brewers using their bullpen when they could still catch the cubs and we could still catch them?
No idea though the originally scheduled starter Chase Anderson is going to be available out of the bullpen. They are going to reportedly have it be an all-hands-on-deck bullpen game and their bullpen is reportedly in pretty good shape heading into the series.
 
Centralia, IL
Even if the Cardinals go 3-3 over the next 6, Rockies have to go 5-2 to tie. Cardinals go 4-2, Rockies have to go 6-1 just to tie. If you think about it that way, it's much more comforting. Going 5-2 or 6-1 over any 7 game stretch is tough, even for the best teams (and the Rockies really aren't that good, relative to the other playoff contenders).

Brewers are doing a bullpen game against Flaherty tonight, that swings at least tonight's 1 game pretty heavily in the Cardinals favor. Cubs could have the division locked up by that series, at least the last game or 2, so they'll be throwing lesser pitchers than usual most likely. It's not as daunting as it looks (which is why Cardinals have 79% playoff odds, Rockies have 28% on Fangraphs)
And just like that, playoff odds are down from 79% to 61%. Better find a way to win the next two or it will be a very bumpy ride this weekend.
 
the Front Range
And just like that, playoff odds are down from 79% to 61%. Better find a way to win the next two or it will be a very bumpy ride this weekend.
Ugh... I wasn't able to watch that one but it sounds like we made some mistakes and let it slip away. I do think this team plays better from behind, when they need to win. Maybe it's true, maybe not, but I always get the feeling that when they have a critical loss, they dial it up a notch and roll off a few wins.
 
Sycamore, Illinois
Things definitely not going the right way. Rockies winning and we are losing again.
 
the Front Range
Things definitely not going the right way. Rockies winning and we are losing again.
Its been a rough game. I dont know if they should have pulled Gomber when they did. He was shaky but i dont know the Yelich would have done the damage. Ross usually seems autopilot/ low-engery to me. When the bases are loaded, he's not who I want out there.
 
the Front Range
Carp had a legitimate argument with the home ump. It was a bad call 3 strike. I hope it fires up this team. They just look lifeless at the moment.
 
So I found this interesting article on mlb.com listing the different playoff scenarios in the NL. Here's the ones involving the Cardinals (granted all this may be moot based on how tonight's game is going):

Four way-tie involving Brewers, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Rockies (this scenario happens if, including tonight's game, Brewers go 1-4, Dodgers go 3-2, Cardinals go 4-1, and Rockies go 5-1)

Monday, Oct. 1: Two tiebreaker games
The Rockies and Dodgers would play a game to determine the NL West winner. Los Angeles would host that game by virtue of winning the season series, 12-7.
And the Cardinals would play the Brewers (the site can't yet be determined because the season series is still unsettled as of tonight) to determine one NL Wild Card spot.

Tuesday, Oct. 2: The consolation game
Monday's losers would face each other to determine the other NL Wild Card club. The site of this game would determined by the outcome of the regular-season series between the two clubs involved (intradivision record the next determining factor if the season series was a split, but that's not the case in any of these options).
So here's who would host in each potential scenario:
Brewers vs. Dodgers: Dodgers host (4-3 record in 2018 meetings)
Brewers vs. Rockies: Brewers host (5-2)
Cardinals vs. Dodgers: Cardinals host (4-3)
Cardinals vs. Rockies: Cardinals host (5-2)

Wednesday, Oct. 3: The real NL Wild Card Game
This game is scheduled to be played on Tuesday, but a four-way tie would make that schedule impossible to honor. The winner of Monday's Brewers-Cardinals game would face the winner of Tuesday's consolation game, with home-field advantage determined by the same factors as described above.
If we assume that the Cubs maintain the NL's No. 1 seed over the Braves (and for this four-way tie to even exist, Chicago would have to maintain its top spot in the NL Central), the winner of this game would then proceed to Wrigley Field for the start of the NL Division Series. As of now, the NLDS is scheduled to begin with Game 1 on Thursday, Oct. 4 and Game 2 on Friday, Oct. 5.

This means that there's a scenario that exists in which the Brewers, to use the most extreme example, end their season in Milwaukee on Sunday, play in St. Louis on Monday, play in L.A. on Tuesday, play in St. Louis again on Wednesday and play in Chicago on Thursday and Friday.

Scenarios involving three-way ties

Scenario: The Dodgers and Rockies tie for the NL West title and tie the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot (behind the Brewers)
The Dodgers and Rockies would play at Dodger Stadium on Monday, Oct. 1, to determine the NL West champion. The loser of that game would then travel to St. Louis to play the Cardinals the next day to determine the second Wild Card spot. The winner of that game would play the Brewers on Wednesday.

Scenario: The Dodgers win the NL West, and the Brewers, Cardinals and Rockies all finish with the same record
The Cardinals, Brewers and Rockies would choose/receive A, B and C designations, based on head-to-head records. Club A would host Club B on Monday, Oct. 1, to determine one NL Wild Card spot. Club C would then host the loser of that game on Tuesday to determine the second NL Wild Card spot.

Scenario: The Cardinals and Brewers tie for the two NL Wild Card spots
The winner of the season series (still undetermined, as of tonight's game) hosts the NL Wild Card Game.
 
The tie I'm really hoping for, now, is Milwaukee and Cubs tying for the division and having to play a 1 game tie breaker before the loser plays in Chicago. Brewers go 3-1 in their 4 left (lose tonight, sweep Detroit) to end at 94-68. Cubs go 3-2 (win tonight & tomorrow, go 1-2 against the Cardinals) and finish at 94-68. Cardinals, erstwhile, go 3-1 and end at 90-72, pass the Rockies (who go 2-3, end at 89-73).

The Cubs losing a tie-breaker game and then losing the wild card game in Chicago to St. Louis would almost make losing this Brewers series worth it.
 
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