Cleat Geeks

Into the Cardinals Nest: Can the Cardinals Catch The Cubs?

As of Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals are in second place in the NL Central Division. Yet they are 10.5 games out of first. The Cubs have always found ways to win and despite dropping the last two games to St. Louis, they are still a very capable team. As the season goes on, many wonder if the Cubs are possible to catch and even overtake before the season’s over. The Cardinals can beat the Cubs for the division title but it is going to involve a lot of work and a bit of luck.AdamWainwright

The first thing the Cardinals need to do is get their starting and relief pitching straightened out. Wainwright has found his stride in his last few starts but the rest of the rotation has not been very solid. If the Cardinals want to reclaim their division, it is important that everyone from Michael Wacha to Mike Leake is at the top of their game. When the Cardinals have gotten leads, they seem to have trouble holding them in the late innings. Apart from Seung-Hwan Oh, the relievers have not been bulletproof and they have been known to blow leads late. Despite his luck in the past two games, Trevor Rosenthal has not proven effective in providing clean 9th innings. On the other hand, Oh’s pitches  have been difficult to hit. Switching Rosenthal and Oh’s roles would be a big step forward but that doesn’t appear likely as long as Rosenthal continues to save games in the end. Regardless of whether or not Oh becomes closer,  the pitching needs consistency all throughout the games.

The next thing they must do is continue to defeat the Cubs head to head and chip away at the huge lead they have in the Central. The Cardinals need to win most of these match-ups because unless something changes dramatically in the next few months, other teams will struggle to beat the Cubs. The Cardinals need strong offense from guys like Stephen Piscotty, Aledmys Diaz and Matt Carpenter. They need to continue to play well and be the major assets that Cardinal fans know they are capable of being.

JohnMozeliakandMikeMatheny

John Mozeliak and Mike Matheny.

The Cardinal GM could play a big part in how their division race goes too. If they really want to catch up to the Cubs, the Cardinals could benefit from making a few deals to strengthen the rotation or even find some reliable bats. It all depends on the players and teams involved in the trades as well as how much Cardinal GM, John Mozeliak, is willing to spend and give up but if he does open up his wallet before the trade deadline and make some good deals, it could be exactly just what the team needs to get back in the division race.

Catching up to the Cubs and taking the division will be a difficult undertaking for this Cardinal team but it is doable if they can keep stringing wins together. They cannot do everything on their own and they have to rely on the Cubs to get in a long slump. Everything has to align perfectly for the Cards to win the division title.  If they do not win the division, this team is capable of winning a Wild Card spot in postseason play and they won the World Series from that spot in 2011 so Cardinal fans need not worry. Anything can happen   and it would be wise not to count the Cards out just yet.

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