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Carlos Beltran demonstrates the mutability of slumps by hitting two home runs in the St. Louis Cardinals' win Sunday.
The St. Louis Cardinals' magic number is now down to two following Sunday's win over the Washington Nationals. The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to gain a game on the Cards after sweeping the Colorado Rockies over the weekend, but St. Louis still controls its own destiny.
If the Cardinals can combine a win in their final series of the season with any Dodgers loss, they'll clinch the second wildcard spot in the National League. If the Cards win twice, they're in no matter what. St. Louis will host the Cincinnati Reds, who have already clinched the NL Central division title, while the Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants, who are champions of the NL West.
Bryce Harper hit a home run Sunday against the Cardinals. He's been hitting a lot of them, lately.
Sunday in St. Louis, the Cardinals look to inch closer to a playoff spot while also preventing their opponent, the Washington Nationals, from clinching a surprising division title.
Starting pitcher Kyle Lohse allowed a grand slam to Michael Morse in the top of the first inning, on a play that was reviewed and overturned to a home run. Lohse would last six innings, striking out nine and walking just one, but those four runs would be enough, as the Cardinals late comeback fell short in the one-run loss.
The Cardinals managed three runs on starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman in the bottom of the 7th, with John Jay tying the game in the bottom of the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly that scored Pete Kozma.
The Nationals would take a 6-4 lead in the top of the 10th, thanks to a Kurt Suziki two-run double.
Matt Holliday, back in the lineup in the No. 3 spot, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk. Matt Carpenter would leave three on base, going 0-for-4 in the game. Shortstop Pete Kozma was 2-for-3 with two RBIs that came on a double in the seventh.
It'd be funnier if Michael Morse and the Nationals didn't get four runs for it.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday will be in the Cardinals' lineup against the Washington Nationals on Saturday after leaving Friday's game on a bean ball to the elbow. Holliday will bat third and play left field.
Holliday suffered the injury when he was hit by a wild pitch by Christian Garcia in the sixth inning of the Cardinals' 12-2 victory over the Nationals.
Holliday's return was in question even if he was deemed healthy enough to play. With the postseason looming, letting Holliday rest for a day or so would have made plenty of sense but it looks like the Cardinals and Holliday want to keep him in the lineup.
Holliday is currently hitting .292 with 27 home runs and 101 RBI this season.
The Cardinals are trying to hold off the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second NL Wild Card spot. The Cardinals currently hold a three-game lead over the Dodgers.
(And why you should follow Derrick Goold on Twitter, among other reasons.)
He throws very, very, very hard.
The Cardinals have won nine of their last 11 games after opening the series on Friday with a decisive 12-2 win over the Nationals. The series-opening win lowered the Cards' magic number for clinching a coveted NL Wild Card spot to three.
St. Louis expects to start right-hander Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.77 ERA) on the mound. While Lohse has been a consistently solid starter all season for St. Louis, he did get knocked around a bit in his only start against Washington on September 1st. The Cards won the game 10-9 but Lohse gave up nine hits and five earned runs in five and two-thirds innings.
The Nationals will counter with Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 2.90 ERA) on the hill. The right-hander is 3-0 in his last four starts but fared worse than Lohse in that September first slugfest. Zimmerman was tagged by St. Louits for eight earned run on eight hits, lasting only three and two-thirds innings.
The game is scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m. CT and will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday is listed as day-to-day after taking a wild pitch off his left elbow. According to B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest, the All-Star suffered a left elbow contusion when he was hit by a Christian Garcia wild pitch in the sixth inning of the Cardinals' 12-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.
The Cardinals haven't released their line up for Saturday's game vs. the Nationals, so it's unclear if Holliday will miss any time. SB Nation's Dan Moore writes that injury or not, it wouldn't be surprising to see Holliday miss a game here and there as the postseason draws near.
Holliday spent recent weeks mired in a slump and fighting off rumors that he's playing hurt, and this won't do anything to dispel that particular notion. Between the back tightness, his stung elbow, and his Mendoza-minus-the-power line of late it wouldn't be a shock to see him get at least one of these Nationals games off, whether he's healthy or not.
St. Louis is currently three games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second NL Wild Card spot. First pitch for Saturday's game is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CT.
The St. Louis Cardinals maintained their position in the chase for the playoffs with a 12-2 victory over the Washington Nationals, but left fielder Matt Holliday had to leave the game in the 6th inning after being hit in the elbow by a pitch by the Nationals' Christian Garcia. The Cardinals were already comfortably ahead 9-1 at the time of Holliday's injury. It was not immediately clear how severe the injury might be, or if Holliday will miss any games.
St. Louis jumped out to an early lead, scoring 5 runs in the first inning and 4 more in the second. Washington starter Edwin Jackson was pulled early in the second inning, having allowed 7 hits, walking 4, and giving up 9 runs. Jackson fell to 9-11 on the year. The Nationals never threatened to come back, managing only 4 hits the rest of the way.
The Cardinals are fighting for a playoff spot, sitting 3 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and 4 ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers entering Friday night's games. The win maintains St. Louis' position in the standings with only 5 games remaining, and brings their magic number to clinch a wildcard spot to 3.
Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright picked up the win, bringing him to 14-13 on the season.
The St. Louis Cardinals took a 9-1 lead into the sixth inning, but it took a potential Matt Holliday injury for them to consider resting their started in Game 1 of their late-September series with the Washington Nationals. Holliday took a Christian Garcia pitch directly to the elbow—the slow-motion replay was not pleasant—and left the game grimacing in the hands of Cardinals trainers. Shane Robinson replaced him on the base paths—though we don't know yet whether that's Mike Matheny's belated decision to rest the starters or the result of the beanball.
Holliday's spent recent weeks mired in a slump and fighting off rumors that he's playing hurt, and this won't do anything to dispel that particular notion. Between the back tightness, his stung elbow, and his Mendoza-minus-the-power line of late it wouldn't be a shock to see him get at least one of these Nationals games off, whether he's healthy or not.
The St. Louis Cardinals' ace is into artisanal pitches now.
Both teams are battling for playoff position, the St. Louis Cardinals have not clinched the second wild card spot in the National League but they should as they are three up over the next closest team. The Washington Nationals have clinched a playoff spot and have all but clinched the N.L. East, but as long as they don't lose out they will win the East.
The Cardinals have decided to start Adam Wainwright who is trying to climb above .500, as he is currently 13-13. He will be going up against Edwin Jackson who himself will be looking to get back to .500.
After having Thursday off, the Cardinals are setting up their optimal lineup, and the only change is having Carlos Beltran back in the lineup at right field and he will be batting sixth.
With a three-game lead over the Dodgers and four games over the Brewers, the Cardinals will need to hold off both teams by earning some wins against the NL-best Nationals.