I will be glad when the Cardinals finish their weekend series against Pittsburgh. This edition of the Redbirds simply has difficulty against teams with winning records. Not too long ago, they won seven of 10 against Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Cincinnati at home. But since then, St. Louis has gone 2-5 against the Pirates and Reds on its most recent road trip.
The three games against Pittsburgh this weekend will conclude the Redbirds’ regular-season schedule against teams with winning records. The final 19 will be against teams with losing records, which normally benefits the Cardinals. They’re 14-23 against winning teams this year, but 66-37 against everyone else. So these final 19, if form holds, should allow the Cardinals to waltz into at least a one-game wild-card opportunity, if not the Central Division championship.
At least Lance Lynn avoided the disastrous inning. Instead, he allowed single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, then the Cardinals allowed solos in the sixth and seventh. Four of those runs came on solo homers. It’s one of the strangest outings we’ve seen from Lynn. He simply has to be better for the Cardinals to have a chance in the postseason.
Losing Allen Craig for the weekend, to be Captain Obvious, is crushing for the Cardinals. But if you’re going to lose him, lose him for this weekend when Matt Adams appears to be bouncing back into a groove and facing a couple of right-handers in A.J. Burnett and Charlie Morton on Friday and Sunday. Perhaps Adams can launch a few and the Cardinals can win one or two vs. the Pirates in the last series they play against them this season.
Other quick notes:
Peyton Manning is the most remarkable 37-year-old quarterback I’ve ever seen. To throw seven touchdown passes in the opener and tie the all-time single-game mark was truly amazing. I don’t have him as my No. 1 QB ever like D’Marco Farr does, but he’s definitely in my top five.
Mizzou is playing “blood donors” like Murray State to begin the season, but the Tigers better be wary of a team like Toledo. The MAC always has good teams, and the Rockets are definitely capable of coming in and winning in Columbia. This group of Tigers hasn’t played much, so they should be humble as this one starts. If they aren’t humble, Toledo could knock them off.
As you watch the Rams on Sunday, be wary of Rashard Mendenhall and the Gridbirds’ run game. The one spot where I see the most vulnerability on the Rams’ front is in run defense. The Cardinals have come in here and run the ball down the Rams’ throats before. If the Rams can’t handle the Arizona running game, that’ll set up Carson Palmer to get the ball downfield to Larry Fitzgerald. They’ll try to run it, so the Rams better be ready.