The St. Louis Cardinals are breathing down the necks of the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies, the two teams nearest them in the National League Wild Card race. Coming off a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cardinals are within three games of the second Wild Card spot and just two games from first place in the National League Central.
And the team that’s helping them out a lot? The Memphis Redbirds.
Players such as Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez and Luke Weaver have been integral parts of the Cardinals’ 2017 team that at one point seemed like a long shot to make the postseason.
DeJong leads the team with 21 home runs, Martinez has proven to be a versatile asset in the field and Luke Weaver is 5-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his first six starts of the season. Add in players like Carson Kelly (the projected future catcher of Cardinals baseball) and Harrison Bader, and you have a team built for the long haul.
Down in Memphis, the Redbirds finished the regular season with a franchise-best record of 91-50, led by 2017 PCL Manager of the Year Stubby Clapp. It was a massive bounce back from their 65-77 record last season.
For St. Louis, the rest of their games during the regular season are against divisional opponents. Add that to the fact that it’s September baseball, and every game has become a must-win.