Depending on when you see this post, the Cardinals have played a good portion of the 2017 season:
- Game 128 (FRI) = 79.0% of season
- Game 129 (SAT) = 79.6% of season
- Game 130 (SUN) = 80.2% of season
The Cardinals are 3-7 over their last 10 games and just lost a series – at home – to the San Diego Padres, who are now only 33.5 games back from the NL West lead.
Thursday’s game was started by the staff ace Carlos Martinez.
The week has not been kind.
Taylor’s even getting dragged into the nosedive.
And other reputable journos are readying their obits for the Cardinals season.
Over at FiveThirtyEight, the Cardinals playoff chances technically stand at 24% as of this post (with a projected 82-80 record).
You get the Bob’s point, though.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll repeat it many more times in September… but the Cardinals are the team that we expected them to be… slightly over .500 with playoff chances wholly dependent on how other teams perform.
Cardinals fans aren’t used to dealing with mediocre teams.
That’s why this season has felt really bad when their record is something that almost 1/2 of MLB teams would aspire to.
82-80 (or 83-79 or 84-78 or whatever they end up at) doesn’t come on an easily charted graph. Wins and losses don’t alternate.
Baseball doesn’t work like that.
An average team goes on streaks – both good and bad – that seem to signal progress or regression. But the truth is that ending up around .500 is a messy process that includes multiple twists and turns.
This Cardinals roster isn’t built to pile up wins.
It isn’t built for losses, either.
It’s built to be good enough to play the role of a playoff contender in the absence of better teams. Which has been true of the NL Central.
The Cubs, though, are 7-3 in their last 10. Are now 10 games over .500. And appear to be turning up the seriousness.
The Cardinals run as a seat filler for the 2017 season has at times been exciting. They got to see the show up close in a primo spot. But the stars are coming back to see the big awards be handed out and the wide chasm between meaningful success and just playing the part while the real players hung out at the bar and used the restroom is becoming evident.
At least it’s ‘Player’s Weekend‘.