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Cardinals Division Hopes Slashed in Chicago, But There is Still a Chance

Cardinals Division Hopes Benjamin White/ via


Cardinals Division Hopes Slashed in Chicago, But There is Still a Chance

The Cardinals went into Wrigley Field this weekend with a chance to pull into a tie for the division lead.  Unfortunately, they played the brand of baseball they have played for most of the season and are now six games behind the Cubs.  With just two weeks remaining, the Cardinals division hopes have been slashed, for the second straight season.

Cardinals’ Division Hopes Swept Away in Wrigley

Game 1

Ace Carlos Martinez looked like he would pitch the Cardinals to victory in game one, but his success came to a screeching halt in the sixth inning.  The inning prior, the Cardinals pitcher drove in the teams second run.  However, that would be the last run they would score, even after gaining all the momentum, as John Lackey and Wilson Contreras were run from the game.  Martinez’ single drove in the only Cardinal run that did not come via the home run in the entire series.  After they failed to score again, Carlos gave up seven runs in the sixth.  Bad defense and loss of command were the key factors to the starter’s implosion.  Chicago would go on to win game one 8-2.

Game 2

Game two was just as frustrating as the first. The Cards offense was flat, and Wacha was only able to go five and two-thirds, allowing three runs.  Matt Carpenter hit a solo home run in the eight, but Lyons gave the run back the next half inning, on an Addison Russell home run.  The Cardinals made Kyle Hendricks look like Greg Maddux through seven and two-thirds, and they fell 4-1.

Game 3

The Cardinals division hopes rode on the series finale.  A win would have kept them in the hunt at just four games back.  The loss, though, puts them six games back of first place and drops their division elimination number to eight.  Lance Lynn was not the pitcher he has been since July first, and the offense was sparse again.  Lynn allowed three runs over four innings, and Lyons allowed a run for the second day in a row.  The only Cardinal runs came on a three-run home run by Dexter Fowler, in the sixth.  The home run tied the game at the time but proves worthless now.  The lack of competitiveness and sense of urgency from the Birds is troubling, and it has almost definitely led to their demise in 2017.

The Silver Lining

There is no silver lining around being swept by your division foes, but there is one around the last two weeks.  With a Rockies loss to the Padres, the Cardinals still only trail the Wild Card spot by four and a half games.  It will certainly take a valiant effort from the Cards to overcome this deficit, but they have been in worse positions.  This is not the Cardinal team of 2011, but stranger things have happened.  They finish the season at home, with three games against Milwaukee.

The Brewers, at only two and a half games back, could be the team the Cardinals trail for the Wild Card at the time of that series.  However, they will need to keep pace in the final two weeks and will need help from the Rockies and Brewers.  Hopes of winning the division are gone, but there may still be a chance at the Wild Card.  It is extremely hard to do, after that series against the Cubs, but do not give up hope yet Cardinal fans.