The St. Louis Cardinals' slide down the standings on their most recent road trip has been accompanied, as you've no doubt heard, by a sudden expansion of the Wild Card race. With a second Wild Card slot in play in the National League, what would a year ago have been the Cardinals listlessly chasing the Braves (sounds familiar) is now the Cardinals being chased by the Philadelphia Phillies, the Milwaukee Brewers, and countless other teams counted out circa July.â†µ
Our network Phillies blog, The Good Phight, has illustrated this in graph form. It's much better news when they post it—for our purposes, watch as a rising tide in early September lifts every boat except the Cardinals, whose concurrent slide has allowed all this to go on. (Click on the graph to see the full version; if you're content to squint, the Cardinals are the red line that's spent the last three weeks at zero.)â†µ
Not the most pleasant rear-view-mirror sight for a team that's spent the last month dealing with aging sluggers and inconsistent young starters. But some wins against the Dodgers over the weekend would go a long way toward leveling off some of those middle-of-the-pack peaks.