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=!!Tv!!= Cardinals vs Giants Live S.t.r.e.a.m

=!!Tv!!= Cardinals vs Giants Live S.t.r.e.a.m

As soon as the Reds lost that doubleheader in Colorado, you knew the season was over. I didn't know who would win the division, but I knew who it wouldn't be -- and, well, it was pretty evident even before that, but those two games seemed to bring the finality to it all.

So this morning, I thought back to that, because the Reds then went to St. Louis and were swept. After the Colorado doubleheader loss, the Brewers were in first place in the division at 70-55, the Cardinals were 3 games back and then the Pirates were 5.5 games back.

Since that day, Aug. 17, the Cardinals have gone 13-7, the Reds have gone 6-13. And there's actually been a team worse since then -- the Brewers, who are 4-14 since.

The thing is, the Cardinals haven't been great -- they've been good enough and peaking at the right time. That's the thing, when you have the best organization in the game, good things tend to happen.'s David Schoenfield writes:

Despite the various setbacks the Cardinals faced during the season -- the lengthy injury to Wacha, the season-ending injury to Jaime Garcia, the nearly two months without Yadier Molina -- they're also getting things lined up. Wacha is back, Molina is back, Matt Holliday's power has returned in the second half, Matt Carpenter is quietly eighth in the NL in OBP, and rookie second baseman Kolten Wong has slugged .474 since July 6.


Back in March, everyone raved about the Cardinals' depth. That depth won't lead to a 97-win season like they had in 2013 but it did help them survive and get to this point. In fact, think of the struggles this year of the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers, three deep-pocketed franchises regarded as preseason World Series contenders. In Boston's case, its young players didn't play up to expected levels; the Rangers were unable to overcome a slew of injuries (granted, it was a lot of injuries); the Tigers may yet make the playoffs but their lack of depth, especially in the rotation, has hurt them down the stretch.

The Cardinals always seem to have somebody to plug in (they've used 11 different starting pitchers for at least four starts). They bide their time, don't overreact or panic and understand it's a 162-game season, and you don't make the playoffs just because you have a hot April (that's you, Milwaukee).

Last time I was in Milwaukee, my cab driver to the airport was incredulous that I could pick the Cardinals to win the division, even though the Brewers had built up a big lead. The Cardinals are where they always are -- in contention and dangerous. Even when they're not the best on paper, they seem to be the best on the field -- because they're the best off the field.


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