There was that train of thought but the staff/medical staff thought otherwise. Don't be surprised, though, to see Jack Flaherty crank up an inning or two in Chicago.
I still think the Phillies will be heard from in some capacity (wild card, Eastern Division) , beginning tonight when they start a weeklong home stand with the Orioles and Pirates. But if the Cardinals go 8-6 or maybe even 7-7 the rest of the way, there should be no issues with them traveling westward for the one-game wild-card game which would be on Oct. 6.
You can never discount the advantages of hitting between Goldschmidt and Arenado. O'Neill can afford to be more patient because a walk isn't a bad play in that spot. When he was hitting cleanup, perhaps O'Neill did put too much pressure on himself because his average with runners in scoring position was under .200, for the most part. It has been much better lately.
The recent Cardinals' streak coincided with Edman's hitting streak, so leadoff appears to be his spot, especially because he also can steal 30 bases, which I don't think is necessarily part of Sosa's game yet. This well could be the lineup next year, too, with the exception of Carlson hitting fifth ahead of Molina.
I don't think the Cardinals would be pivoting at all. They never struck me as in the market for a shortstop. They have two, although DeJong would have to be better. They must have another starting pitcher and a lefthanded hitter who can play outfield, first base and be a DH.
Bader and Sosa both provide palpable energy. Bader always will be important because of his defense but if the rest of the offense is clicking, as it is now, you can use him without reservation even if he only hits .240 or .250. He has power and speed despite a low average.
Molina's metrics are good to give him a shot at No. 10 this year. A few of the other catchers haven't played enough games to really qualify. And Molina's throwing still has been first-rate along with his handling of pitchers even if his bad foot prevents him from shifting to block some of the balls that he used to block.
At this point, we should have learned never to sell Wainwright short. With him being 40 for most of next season, it would be hard to expect another season like this one, but how many of us saw this one coming?
O'Neill, Bader, Arenado, Goldschmidt, Molina--and maybe even Wainwright--all should be in the running. The Cardinals had four each in 2002 and 2003--Edmonds, Renteria and Rolen won in both years, with Vina winning in 2002 at 2B and Matheny at catcher in 2003.
Not quite sure about all the ones involved for "Freese's Landing." I've never thought Arenado was going to leave after this year and neither has he.
It is very inconsistent and, for the life of me, I wonder why a pitcher wouldn't want to continue pitching with a ball that might have a little scuff or dirt on it. Now, it's just a habit that the catcher often starts by asking for a new ball if a pitch hits the dirt.
I would hope they would acknowledge the strong finish but fans can take out of it whatever they want and many times it's 'What have you done for me lately?"
Reyes will be a rotation consideration next year, too, besides Woodford and Liberatore. But another veteran is needed although not necessarily as old as Lester, Happ or LeBlanc. Too early to speculate on the free-agent class--the Cardinals haven't had very good luck in that arena lately--although Scherzer will be at the top of it. He seems very happy where he is, though. .
I hadn't thought about that but it is a possibility. But the 19 or 20 starts necessary could be achieved in a 100-game season and I would have a hard time believing it would be less than that unless the coronavirus was involved again.
That will be interesting. You would think the Cardinals' lack of starting pitching depth would be a negative in any assessment but their glut of relievers, perhaps augmented even by Flaherty and Hudson, is impressive.
You don't have to apologize. A lot of folks may not have seen this coming. But the thing the Cardinals always had was defense and, for most of the season, a strong bullpen. The developments of young players like Edman, O'Neill, Carlson and Sosa were probably the most important aspects.
I think it will only help the Cardinals, who will say they want to take part in a similar celebration, perhaps even celebrating a wild-card berth with the Brewers in town through Thursday of next week.