I don’t go to bed particularly early.
Most nights I’ll be up past midnight. Some nights even later.
Living on the east coast, most Cardinals games start around 8:15, which gives me a couple hours after work to go to the gym, grab dinner and get home before the game starts. And the later finishes aren’t much of a bother.
So it always throws my rhythm off a bit when the team comes to the eastern time zone and everything starts an hour earlier.
It was a nice night last night, so I decided to go for a run by the Hudson.
And by the time I checked my phone to see what was going on between the Cards and Red Sox, this is what greeted me:
Welcome back, dudes! Wondered where you went the past week.
I think Tara Wellman said it best on Sunday:
And then again on Tuesday:
The Cardinals now officially have a losing streak to accompany their winning streak.
The Red Sox are 3-0 against the Cardinals this year. Since the 2004 season, the Sox are 14-8 against the Cardinals, including an 8-2 record in World Series games.
Some of your friends and co-workers today are telling you “relax, it’s one game, on the road, against a good team… the Cubs lost last night, too.”
They’re not wrong.
Boston is good. Fenway is tough to play in. The Cubs did lose.
Some of your friends and co-workers today are telling you “this team is average and just because they got hot for a week against some pretty mediocre teams at home, don’t get too excited.”
They’re not wrong, either.
The Cardinals are 3 games above .500, got hot against the Royals and Braves and followed up their last long-ish hot stretch by losing 7 of 9 games.
If you believe in trends, though, your more pessimistic buddy has a little more ammo. After winning 8 of 9 games, from MAY 5 thru MAY 14, who did the Cardinals play? The Red Sox. They lost.
And after those 2 losses against the Sox, the Cardinals went 5-15 over their next 20 games.
Here’s the inescapable truth:
1. The NL Central isn’t going to get run away with. The Cubs have proven that they’re better than everyone else in the division, but not by much. Chances are that the Cardinals and Brewers will still be technically alive at least a couple weeks into September.
2. The Cardinals aren’t a sleeping giant that was awoke last week. They were projected to be a 5-10 game over .500 team. And by the end of the season, will probably be 5-10 games over .500. That may be good enough for the playoffs. It probably won’t be. But because of the Cubs stale play, there’s a chance.
3. The Cardinals haven’t been average for a long time. We’re all struggling with how to react to an average team. Every time we get hyped up… they kind of let us down. Every time we throw our hands up and tell people we’re out on 2017… they win a few games and suck us back in. It’s frustrating. And it’s going to be this way until game 162 is over.
I wish I had a #hottertake.
But the Cardinals are a team on the playoff margins.
In fact, this scene from ‘Knocked Up’ might be the perfect encapsulation of the Cardinals ’17 season to this point (very NSFW – or life for that matter – language):
The club? Playoffs.
The girls? The Cardinals.