The sky isn’t falling; it’s already on the ground. There is no sky. The Cardinals’ season is over.
An exaggeration, but also a pretty apt description of Cardinal fans’ feelings today, with the Brewers having decimated the Birds and reduced their October hopes in just three quick games. Baseball beyond Sunday is still possible, but there’ll be lots of scoreboard watching involved and the Cards will need to swing the type of wrecking ball at Wrigley the Brew Crew just left at Busch.
Stranger things have happened. They are possible. And while sweeping a Cubs team also playing for their lives — and doing so at the Friendly Confines — seems a stretch, our Cardinals insider Jen Langosch points out the Baby Bears have been struggling lately, too.
“Can they go to Wrigley Field and win three in a row? It’s probably not likely, but I think it’s possible. You’re also going to be facing a Cubs team that has a whole lot of problems of their own. You look at their bullpen; it’s a mess,” Langosch tells ‘The Bernie Miklasz Show.’
“You like the fact that you’re going to have Mikolas and Flaherty going this weekend. That gives you, I think, a decent opportunity to win two weekend games,” she added. “To me, the x-factor is Adam Wainwright on Friday. Can he come out and set a tone that gets this team back on track, pitches them to a win on Friday, keeps them in this race, and then sets things up for your best two pitchers to take the ball?”
If Waino’s last two starts are any indication, or his 11-2 career record at Wrigley, he certainly can do the above-mentioned things, which would add to the man’s lore in what could be the last time he takes the hill for a Cardinal start. The team seems to rally around him and this would be mighty helpful in setting the weekend’s tone against a Cubs team feeling the fire every bit as much as the Cardinals.
Depending whether the Chicago wins Thursday’s ender with the Pirates, they could enter the weekend tied with Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central or down a game. That first wild card is a large Cubbies possibility no matter how much they’d like it not to be. In other words, much as the Cardinals seemed edgy this week, the Cubs may be so this weekend.
“You talk about being uptight; [the Cubs are] not playing very good baseball and the one thing that’s happened in terms of what’s happened here at Busch Stadium is not only did it seal the Brewers’ spot in the postseason, but it made these weekend games at Wrigley Field essentially must-win games for the Cubs as well,” Langosch said.
“They’re going to get the Cubs’ best shot, certainly, but the Cubs aren’t playing good baseball at this time, so I think there’s a little bit of an opening there for St. Louis.”
Jen also discussed the Cards’ locker room vibe following Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss and Adolis Garcia’s tumble between third base and home plate, which would have tied the game. Those remarks are below, followed by the entire segment’s audio.
Langosch on the Cardinal attitude following Wednesday night’s loss:
“I think the way that game ended up really was a gut-punch to this team. Adolis Garcia, for one, was too emotional to talk to reporters after the game, and you know, his teammates were there to try and pick him up and give him a pat on the back.
“They realize the time of year, and whether it was a lack of urgency or maybe a little bit of being uptight and knowing the magnitude of the moment. I don’t know if that got to this team at all. But, ultimately, we can point a lot to Garcia falling between third and home; the reality is, though, the team got two hits.
“You’re not going to win many games when you can only get two hits. There’s a lot of things I think you could point to that went wrong in this series, and you ran into a Brewers team that’s playing really, really good baseball.”