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Congrats to the Cardinals

by Matt Smith

Moving to a new stadium can be difficult: leaving behind years of memories and great moments.   But I’m sure the Cardinals were confident that it wouldn’t be long before the New Busch stadium played home to a celebration or two.  Having clinched the NL Central for the third straight year in St Louis last Sunday (albeit in a losing effort),  the Cards wrapped up their series over the Padres last night.

Their late -season slide made the final few weeks of September a lot more uncomfortable than Tony La Russa’s men would have wanted, but it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.  The Mets had basically wrapped up the NL East by the start of August and you have to wonder whether they have lost their edge a bit despite their victory over the Dodgers.  St Louis on the other hand nearly had their play-off dreams snatched away.  They played under immense pressure and ultimately came through, which should hold them in good stead over the next week or so.

The real issue for the Cardinals is how Weaver and Suppan perform in the opening two games against the Mets.  Chris Carpenter has been immense and had the Cardinals wrapped up the NLDS in three games they would have been able to match him up against Tom Glavine.  Carpenter to Weaver is a considerable drop-off in terms of performance.   If Carpenter can pitch twice in this series then I can see the Cardinals edging it, but this scenario is reliant on the rest of the rotation keeping the series alive against a very tough Mets batting lineup.

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