What a difference two weeks makes.
St Louis finds itself 4 games ahead of Milwaukee as they start play tonight. Yadier Molina is back; Michael Wacha looked pretty good in his 3 innings of work; the team has won six games in a row. Granted, the Brewers’ extended losing streak has helped; teams don’t typically gain 6 games in the standings in 6 days. Doesn’t matter. That’s what’s happened.
In the climatic scene of ‘The Patriot, Lord General Cornwallis drives the Continental Army back off the field of battle. The following exchange then occurs:
Cornwallis: “Army Reserve into the Center.”
Colonel Burwell: “But sir, you’ve taken the field!”
Cornwallis: “And now we shall take their spirits. Send the entire Army over that hill and crush them! It ends today!”
The season does not end today, and it is certainly a huge task to ask this Cardinals team to take 3 more at Miller Park. Milwaukee boasts the best home record in the National League (44-28, tied with STL). However a cursory review of the pitching matchups finds they favor St Louis over the next 3 games.
- John Lackey vs Mike Fiers – Lackey is battle tested and has pitched with his usual bulldog intensity since coming over from Boston. Fiers is very good but has only thrown 64 innings at the major league level the last 2 years. He is a great story – his right arm was broken by a line drive last June, and he’s back in The Show – but I’ll take Lackey hands-down in this game.
- Lance Lynn vs Kyle Lohse – Lynn has been arguably the best Cardinal starter since the All-Star Break. Milwaukee has lost 4 of Lohse’s last 6 starts, and he was pounded by St Louis at Busch a month ago. Kyle is battle tested but I’ll ride the hot hand here.
- Adam Wainwright vs Jimmy Nelson – The Cardinal Ace versus a rookie right-hander. St Louis beat Nelson on 12 July for his first major league loss. Yep – going with the Ace here.
I may be an unabashed homer, but the Cardinals can certainly win the next three games. Seven ahead of Milwaukee with 19 left is an almost insurmountable lead. That, coupled with the suddenly nasty Chicago Cubs hosting Pittsburgh, means with a little help from the small bears St Louis can for all practical intents and purposes end the pennant race in the Central this weekend.
We’re playing well and Milwaukee is not. Now’s the time to take their spirits. End it this weekend.
The Patriot was an entertaining movie with characters based on historical figures from the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. It must be pointed out, however, it is a film chock-full of historical inaccuracies and thus best viewed for its entertainment value only. Most of the key plot events depicted in the movie are completely fictitious.