The Bottom Line:

— The St. Louis Cardinals (86-73) defeated the Washington Nationals (96-73) on Sunday afternoon by a score of 9-4. With the LA Dodgers playing later today, the Cardinals are now 2.5 games on the wild card with three games in the regular season remaining.

— Lance Lynn (18-7) gave up four earned runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out 9, walked 1, and gave up 2 home runs.

— Despite having hit only two home runs since August 11, Carlos Beltran hit two home runs today to help earn the Cardinals the victory. He had 5 RBIs on the day.

— Pete Kozma had his second consecutive three-hit game. In short, he has been killin’ it lately.

— Mitchell Boggs and Joe Kelly each threw a scoreless ninth inning.

Three to go…and maybe three games up depending on how LA does later today? In short, we got this. They can’t slow down…they have to keep going hard and playing the game right, but unless there’s some sort of ridiculous meltdown, the Cardinals will be in Atlanta on Friday night playing the Braves at Turner Field.

It’s pretty amazing how every year it always comes down to the final few games. 159 games later, we still have games that matter. It’s a beautiful thing, and I’m looking forward to when that moment (which could be as early as possible) when we can all relax and celebrate for a moment on successful 2012 regular season. I feel as confident now about this team as I have all season long, and I’m excited for the next couple of days. 

What’s Next: The NL Central division-leading Cincinnati come to town for the final three-game series of the season. First pitch on Monday night is 7:15 PM CST and can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest. As always, all pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog. Go Cards.