And the Schedule Says…

Instead of survey says (how can you not like that show or their outfits!), it does appear the powers that be have a sense of humor when making out the schedule. All of the talk now is about how the St. Louis pitching staff gets to recover after a brutal stretch and destroy inferior competition until October. But while it is true the Cardinals have an easier path to the postseason than either the Reds or the Pirates, is it really that much of a bonus to take the foot off the pedal now?

A quick peak at the rest of September does show two key things right away. Only a pair of off-days remain before the season finale on September 29th (more on that date in a bit), and one is being enjoyed today. With a seemingly stress-free road to the National League Central crown, all the Birds on the Bat need to do is keep winning and not worry about what Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are doing along the way. Easier said than done, no?

My second takeaway without breaking down the schedule by the day is the final road trip. Four games in the thin air of Colorado followed by a trio in Milwaukee starting a week from now will surely test the expanded rosters. Every hurler can struggle against the Rockies, and the scoreboard watching will only intensify away from Busch stadium. The Cards were dominating the competition on the road during the first half but have come back to Earth in a big way since July 26th.

Not wanting to only dwell on the end of July, it appears St. Louis has taken some lumps from the NL’s best and still managed to win 7 out of 19. That is far from great, but the club kept fighting until making it back into first place. To my untrained eye, however, the road trip only sets the stage for the six games that truly matter. Washington visits Busch just as the Cardinals get done playing 13 straight days, and the division title is sure to still be up for grabs.

Following a much-needed day off, the last team I wanted to see on the schedule shows up to play spoiler. That’s right boys and girls, the loveable losers finish off the regular season with their squad replaced by a whole bunch of hate and discontent. Much like in the final inning of Kevin Costner’s For Love of the Game, most of the Junior Lake’s of the world will not hesitate to end the St. Louis version of a perfect game (or avoiding the Wild Card) Chicago style.

So what say you, faithful followers of the CC…when the Cubs come to town, will it be celebration time or a much different feeling entirely?

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