Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will have a decision to make. It won’t be difficult, but Jaime Garcia should be back in the rotation. He pitched well in relief after rookie Luke Weaver was stuck with another outing in which he gave up six runs. Weaver lasted two innings and the damage was done after Nolan Arenado’s grand slam in the Cardinals 11-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon.
The good news for St. Louis is both New York and San Francisco lost.
The Giants are continuing to fade. Their starter Matt Moore was tagged for five runs in the first inning as the Dodgers rolled to a 9-3 win to lower their magic number to five in the West.
The Mets were cruising with a 3-0 lead behind Bartolo Colon until he gave up a two run homer to Anthony Decker in the seventh. The lowly Atlanta Braves staged a late inning comeback scoring runs in the 8th and 9th innings to storm back for a 4-3 win.
Braves centerfielder Ender Inciarte stole a game winning homer from Yeonis Cespedes when his glove went over the wall to snatch a three-run homer away.
Watch the game winning catch–Video MLB.com
Throw schedules right out the window when it comes the final week and a half of the season. If you went by schedules alone, the Mets should have swept the Braves (it was the other way around), and the Cardinals would have struggled in Colorado.
With ten games left for the Cardinals, they’ll play three in Chicago, then come home for four with Cincinnati and three with the Pirates. Given their weak record at home this could be an issue, but the fact they have the bad Reds and fading Pirates should help.
The Mets finish with seven games with the Phillies, a team that is 14-games under .500 and three with once Wild Card contender Miami. The Giants have San Diego, Colorado and then finish the season with the Dodgers. Expect the Dodgers to try to be sharp so they don’t lose an edge after having a few days off before the playoffs.
The Mets and Giants have the edge this weekend. The Cardinals are facing a red hot Cubs team that continues to hit well and have been playing great ball at Wrigley. For the final seven games, the edge swings back to the Cardinals, who I still like at home against the Reds and Pirates. I still predict the Cardinals end up with the best Wild Card record and I’m sticking with the Giants who still have their ace Madison Bumgarner down the stretch.