Skip to content

Watch out, Nationals. Here come the Cardinals!

Oct 5, 2012, 9:30 PM EDT

Matt Holliday Getty Images

The Cardinals won in Atlanta on Friday and will host the Nationals in the NLDS beginning Sunday despite the fact that…

– they got outhit but the Braves 12-6

– they had just two extra-base hits to the Braves’ four

– their hitters failed to draw even a single walk, while their pitchers gave up three

That’s a recipe for a quiet plane ride home. Yet the Cardinals are returning to St. Louis triumphant thanks to some dreadful defense by the Braves — just their fourth three-error game of the year — and their ability to capitalize on mistakes.

Which is what we should have come to expect from these Cardinals. They’re at their best when they’re not very good.

The Cardinals have won two World Series since 2000. The teams that won the championships had the club’s seventh- and 11th-best records of the 12 years. Those Albert Pujols-led clubs won as many as 105 games, yet it was the teams that won 83 games in 2006 in 90 games in 2011 that claimed titles.

There’s no reason this Cardinals team can’t go far, too. While they used their most successful starter in Kyle Lohse today, they still have Adam Wainwright ready to go Sunday. Then they can throw Jaime Garcia at home, where he’s almost always successful, and Chris Carpenter and Lohse on the road.

Offensively, the Cardinals are more than a match for the Nats, scoring 765 runs to Washington’s 731 this year. If they’re still perhaps the lesser team overall, well, that just means they have the Nationals right where they want them.

Latest Posts
  1. Adeiny Hechavarria out of Saturday’s lineup with shoulder injury

    May 30, 2015, 2:20 PM EDT

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29:  Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria #3 and left fielder Christian Yelich #21 of the Miami Marlins both dive but can't make a catch on a ball hit by Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets for an RBI  double during the ninth inning on May 29, 2015 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Marlins defeated the Mets 4-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Hechavarria injured his left shoulder in a collision with teammate Christian Yelich on Friday night.

  2. Must-click link: The strike zone is getting bigger and lower

    May 30, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

    Strike zone

    MLB’s Playing Rules Committee was expected to keep an eye on the strike zone this season to see if it needs to be changed for 2016. According to Jon Roegele of the Hardball Times, it continues to get bigger and lower.

  3. Anthony Rendon resumed a minor league rehab assignment last night

    May 30, 2015, 12:58 PM EDT

    St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Getty Images

    Anthony Rendon’s first attempt at a minor league rehab assignment was halted about a month ago due to an oblique strain, but he returned to game action last night with Double-A Harrisburg.

  4. UPDATE: X-rays come back negative on Jose Abreu’s hand

    May 30, 2015, 12:01 PM EDT

    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 17:  Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox hits an rbi single scoring Adam Eaton #1 against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum on May 17, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Abreu initially injured the finger two weeks ago during batting practice.

  5. Home plate umpire Mike Winters criticized A.J. Ellis’ framing ability

    May 30, 2015, 11:06 AM EDT

    ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 29: Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers argues with umpire Mike Winters #33 after being ejected in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 29, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and catcher A.J. Ellis were ejected from Friday’s game against the Cardinals for arguing about the strike zone with home plate umpire Mike Winters.

  6. Jerry Dior, designer of MLB’s iconic logo, has passed away

    May 30, 2015, 10:06 AM EDT

    mlb logo square

    Dior designed the “silhouetted batter” logo in 1968, but didn’t receive official credit until 2009.

  7. Video: Derek Norris hit a walk-off grand slam against the Pirates

    May 30, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT

    Derek Norris Getty Getty Images

    Derek Norris struck out in his first four at-bats Friday night against the Pirates, but made up for it with a walk-off grand slam.

  8. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    May 30, 2015, 8:55 AM EDT

    ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 29: Starter John Lackey #41 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning at Busch Stadium on May 29, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

    A quick recap of a busy Friday around MLB, including a sterling performance from one of the best bargains in baseball.

  9. Brewers rescind DFA of Brandon Kintzler, put him on the disabled list instead

    May 29, 2015, 11:59 PM EDT

    Brandon Kintzler Getty Images

    The Brewers designated reliever Brandon Kintzler for assignment on Friday afternoon but rescinded it and put him on the 15-day disabled list instead.

  10. Tony Cingrani hits Bryce Harper in the back with a pitch, then complains he was too slow getting to first base

    May 29, 2015, 11:41 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper Bryce Harper

    Bryce Harper was hit square in the back with a fastball and had the gall not to sprint immediately to first base. What nerve!

  11. Rangers to call up prospect Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez to start Saturday

    May 29, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers pitcher Alex Gonzalez works against the New York Mets in exhibition action at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. The teams tied, 4-4. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images) Getty Images

    Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez will make his major league debut on Saturday against the Red Sox.

  12. Rafael Soriano, still a free agent, gets rid of agent Scott Boras

    May 29, 2015, 10:10 PM EDT

    Rafael Soriano Rafael Soriano

    Rafael Soriano still wants to pitch and has fired agent Scott Boras in an effort to find work.

  13. Video: Josh Hamilton hits his first home run of the season

    May 29, 2015, 9:18 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton hit his first home run of the season on Friday night against the Red Sox.

  14. Rockies starter Chad Bettis loses his no-hitter in the eighth inning

    May 29, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT

    Chad Bettis Chad Bettis

    Rockies starter Chad Bettis is trying to throw a no-hitter against the Phillies.

  15. Travis d’Arnaud’s return delayed due to a bone bruise in his wrist

    May 29, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Travis d'Arnaud Travis d'Arnaud

    The Mets will be without catcher Travis d’Arnaud a little while longer due to a bone bruise in his wrist.

  16. Mariners place James Paxton on the disabled list, recall Dominic Leone

    May 29, 2015, 8:08 PM EDT

    James Paxton James Paxton

    The Mariners will lose starter James Paxton for a couple of weeks due to strained finger tendon.

  17. Stephen Strasburg exits start in the second inning with an apparent injury

    May 29, 2015, 7:42 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg Stephen Strasburg

    Stephen Strasburg came out of Friday’s start after facing one batter in the second inning against the Reds.

  18. More than half of polled baseball fans prefer having the pitcher hit

    May 29, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Noah Syndergaard Noah Syndergaard

    More than one in two fans of major league baseball prefer having the pitcher hit as opposed to a designated hitter.

  19. Tuffy Gosewisch likely dealing with a torn ACL

    May 29, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Tuffy Gosewisch Tuffy Gosewisch

    Tuffy Gosewisch may be dealing with a torn ACL, which would likely end his season.

  20. Orioles expect Matt Wieters to return from Tommy John surgery next week

    May 29, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two Getty Images

    Wieters hasn’t played in the majors in nearly 13 months.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3983)
  2. A. Garcia (3165)
  3. J. Cueto (2935)
  4. Y. Puig (2919)
  5. J. Lucroy (2786)
  1. M. Adams (2765)
  2. D. Wright (2729)
  3. T. d'Arnaud (2720)
  4. E. Rodriguez (2709)
  5. R. Castillo (2612)