Besides maybe the race in the American League East, the National League Wild Card race is the most intriguing battle in baseball. On a night where only seven games took place, the Cardinals had a chance to extend its lead in the wild card race. And with the game coming against the less-than-formidable Milwaukee Brewers (63-77) the Cardinals looked poised to go ahead and retain its lead, taking a 1-0 lead early. They were looking to increase the gap between them and the Mets. But the Cardinals lost; not only did they lose, they got hammered, 12-5, not that losing by more makes you drop farther in the standings, but the game was never in question.
“We’re just going to have to continue to figure out how to play good baseball every single night,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “It doesn’t matter where we are. We have shaken up as many things as we could possibly shake up. We just have to go play good baseball. I don’t care where. With this amount of time left, that’s all there is to it.”
Meanwhile, the Pirates were able to close the gap a little bit more to 4.0 games back of the second wild card spot by beating the Reds, 4-1. Ivan Nova spun another gem in a Pittsburgh uniform, making him 5-0 and throwing two complete games with the Bucs. Because the Pirates jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, that game was never really in doubt, either.
“Just continue to go out each and every day and take it one game at a time,” Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer said. “We were in a rough stretch there, but we know that we can turn things around real quick, and there’s still plenty of games to make a difference.”
Indeed, there are certainly enough games for the Pirates to make a move in the race, but it’ll take a strong effort with 24 games left in the season. Not to mention, it’ll take some help from the other teams in the race.
Because of the Cardinals loss, the idle Mets slid into second place in the wild card race, now 0.5 game up of the Red Birds. Also, for the Mets, they begin a series tonight in Atlanta against arguably the worst team in baseball, the Braves.
The Giants, who were also idle, retain their lead in the race, standing half a game up in front of the Mets, after they leapfrogged the Cards.
The Marlins were also idle, and while still in the race, the team, who is now under .500, is starting to fade, and things are starting to become bleak. It’ll take a great effort, and help from the four teams ahead of them in order to make a run at the playoffs.
National League Wild Card Standings:
- San Francisco Giants (74-65, +0.5)
- New York Mets (74-66, –)
- St. Louis Cardinals (73-66, 0.5)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (69-69, 4.0)
- Miami Marlins (69-71, 5.0)