The Bottom Line:
— The St. Louis Cardinals (64-53) defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks (58-59) on Wednesday night by a score of 5-2. Looking at the N.L. wild card race, the Atlanta Braves won, the Cincinnati Reds won, and the Pittsburgh Pirates lost, meaning that the Cardinals are now tied for the second wild card slot with the Pirates.
— Adam Wainwright (11-10) lowered his ERA to 3.87 after hurling 98 pitches over six innings. He gave up two earned runs and five hits, while walking one and striking out five.
— David Freese hit a two-run home run (16) in the fourth inning, giving the Cards a 2-1 lead following Paul Goldschmidt’s home run in the top of the inning.
— Allen Craig hit a solo home run (18) in the fifth inning.
Well all Cardinals fans should be extremely happy for the moment. Before tonight’s game, Mike Matheny announced that Jaime Garcia would be making his first start since June on Sunday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates. And more importantly, the Cardinals now have a share of the wild card with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who just happen to be coming into town this weekend.
It was great to see Freese break out of his 0-for-19 slump with that long home run. Particularly if Molina’s back is going to be a problem down the stretch, it is incredibly important that Freese continues to be productive as the Cards make a playoff run. He is such an important bat in this lineup and to see him put a good swing on the ball definitely put me a little bit more at ease as to where he is with less than two months to go in the season.
The pitching continues to be terrific. It seems as if every single night the Cards’ starters go at least six innings which is not something I take for granted. Come August and September, it is not uncommon for starting pitchers to begin breaking down a bit and going close to an average of five innings per start. This of course puts more pressure on the bullpen and tires out even more arms in the most crucial part of the season. If Adam Wainwright and the rest of this staff continue to pitch the way they have been throughout the month of August thus far, the bullpen will be able to be more effective and convert more victories as a result.
What’s Next: The Cardinals try to sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night when Trevor Cahill (9-10, 3.85) will take on Kyle Lohse (12-2, 2.72). The game starts at 7:15 CST and can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest. Be sure to check CardsBlog for all pre and post game information.