1989: The Cardinals are chasing down the Cubs, but lose a key series in Wrigley Field in September. The Cubs wind up winning the division before losing in the first round of the playoffs.
2003: The Cardinals are leading the Cubs by a slim margin, but lose 4 of 5 in a key series in Wrigley Field in September. The Cubs wind up winning the division before losing in the second round of the playoffs.
2007: The Cardinals are chasing down the Cubs, but lose a key series in Wrigley Field in late August. What will happen this time?
Due to tonight’s rainout, it’s a guarantee the Cards will lose this series, but can still have a fairly successful road trip if–and really, only if–they win tomorrow’s game (weather permitting, of course). A win tomorrow puts the Cards three back of the division-leading Cubs, with 5 more games pending against them. Milwaukee sits one back now, but are fading fast as losing two of three to Cincy proved. I hesitate to say they are done, since Sheets is on his way back, but they are pretty close to it.
It looks like, per Bernie, the make up game will be September 10. That means that next Monday will be the last time the Cardinals don’t play a game, as all of their off days in September are filled with make up games. Add in the fact that there is a double-header in there as well against the Cubs in Busch and that could make for some tired folks. At least with the roster expansion, there will be a lot of bodies around to help take a load off.
I think, on the whole, it’s a good thing it rained out tonight. I thought the Cards had hit Zambrano well in the past, but per ESPN’s coverage, he was 6-0 with a 1.82 ERA against the Birds. While Wells is pitching well, I don’t know that he could have matched up with that. I was hoping for a double-header tomorrow, because the Cards could throw Thompson and use some innings while I wasn’t sure what the Cubs would do, but it may be best to wait until reinforcements arrive.
As for the past two games, it’s hard to swallow that, basically, with two different results on two different pitches, the Cards would be tied for first. Decent pitching–save Reyes’s one bad inning–but the offense has been stymied by lefties. One of these days they’ll bust out against them. Hopefully it’ll be against Lilly tomorrow. He got beat up last time against Cincinnati, but on the whole, he’s been very solid this year. We’ll see what happens!