Cardinals pitching (starters and relievers) have a 2.26 ERA in July, good enough for the number one team ERA in Major League Baseball this month.
Wednesday night was yet another example of why this team will undoubtedly stay in this race until the end. Kyle Lohse threw his tenth consecutive quality start, and the bullpen was flawless throwing four scoreless innings. We know that this bullpen will have its up and downs, as do most of the bullpens in the Major Leagues, but the Cards’ starting pitching just has a knack right now for keeping their team in the ball game. As long as guys like Lohse, Adam Wainwright, and Lance Lynn keep can continue to give the Cards six or seven quality innings every time out, there’s no reason to be afraid of teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers.
For the most-part, the National League wild card team has tended to win around 90 games every year since its origin. Sometimes it’s 91, sometimes it’s 89, and yes, sometimes its more or less than that. But as a general rule of thumb, I like focusing on the number of 90 as I believe that tends to be the number of games that will get you into the playoffs.
Of course, now we have a second wild card, and it makes no difference as to which one you are. I don’t know how many games it takes to win this. As of Thursday morning, the Atlanta Braves, the second wild card team if the season ended today, have a .551 winning percentage which puts them on pace for 89 games, a number that will probably not be too far off, if at all, from what actually occurs. To get to 89 wins, the Cards have to go 37-27 the rest of the way, not an unrealistic goal. While they might have been in a bit of a hole a couple of weeks ago when they were hovering around the .500 mark, they’ve clearly dug themselves out of it and have been showing signs as of late that they are capable of playing winning baseball the rest of the way.