If asked to summarize the Cardinals season I could do it with one word: inconsistent. To this point we’ve seen two different teams. The offensive juggernaut that produces more than five runs a game while dominating with their pitching. And also the team that loses focus for hours at a time and can’t produce as much as a hit or field a routine grounder. That has to change and it needs to change NOW.
The Cardinals, who currently sit 1.5 games out of first place, are entering the most important and possibly the easiest part of their schedule. From now until September 8th, the Cardinals will have only three games, against a team that currently has a winning record. To make things even better, those three games are at home, where the Redbirds have a record of 34-16.
While they have this easy stretch, the Reds will play 13 games against teams that currently have a winning record, and only three of those games are at home. Which only makes the next few weeks more important for the Cards.
They must find their identity now because the schedule breaks in the Reds favor over the final three-plus weeks of the season. The Reds will play 19 of their final 22 games against Pittsburgh, Arizona, Houston and Milwaukee. While the Cardinals over the final three weeks have a combined 12 games against Atlanta, San Diego and Colorado. They will also have six games against Pittsburgh and three against Chicago, but those two series offer little break from the tough teams they will face down the stretch.
With Ludwick coming off the DL and reports that Lohse is close to coming back as well the Redbirds can’t afford to spend any more time trying to figure out who they are. We’ve seen what they can produce. They just have to learn to do it consistently and if they can do that now while taking advantage of this easy stretch, they may be able get a firm grasp on the division and put pressure on a young Reds ballclub that hasn’t proven they can perform with their backs against the wall.
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