Cardinals Rally for Extra-Inning Win, Add to Wild Card Lead

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Via i.imgur.com Courtesy of VEB Community Member tomsteele

On Friday, the Cardinals lost a nail-biter that allowed the other contenders to gain ground in the standings. On Saturday, the Cardinals won and gained back the ground lost on Friday.

Here's a look at the current Wild Card standings after the completion of today's games for the contenders.

Club

Wins

Losses

Winning %

GB of 2nd

Homefield GB

Last 10

Streak

Braves

87

65

.572

--

--

6-4

W1

Cardinals

81

71

.533

--

6.0

6-4

W1

Brewers

78

73

.517

2.5

8.5

8-2

L1

Dodgers

78

74

.513

3.0

9.0

4-6

L1

Phillies

77

75

.507

3.5

10.0

6-4

L1


A rundown of today's games and a look at tomorrow's probable pitching match-ups after the jump.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

On Friday, the Cubs tied the Cardinals with a ninth-inning home run before winning in extra innings; a day later, the Cardinals returned the favor. With the Cardinals trailing by a run in the top of the ninth inning, Carlos Beltran swatted a solo homer that knotted things up at four. The blast earned him an smooch. MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tweeted that Wainwright said the following after the dramatic St. Louis win:

"I kissed him right on the cheek. I'm not afraid to tell the whole world either...He saved the team today."

Hopefully Wainwright saved a kiss for center fielder Jon Jay as well. Back spasms caused catcher Yadier Molina to be pulled in the top of the ninth after manager Mike Matheny chose to remove Matt Holliday that inning in favor of Adron Chambers. His club shorthanded (short-batted?), Jay provided the game-winning hit. With two outs and runners on first and second in the tenth, Jay laced a double down the first-base line that was only just fair. The hit gave the Cards their fifth run on the afternoon, a run that would prove decisive after Jason Motte recorded his 39th save on the season.

The Cards' win pushes their lead in the race for the second Wild Card berth back to 2 1/2 games over the Brewers, three games over the Dodgers, and 3 1/2 games over the Phillies. The St. Louis lead isn't comfortable, but there is room for fans to breath (albeit in a way that is rapid, short, and nervous).

Sunday's Probable Pitchers:

Kyle Lohse (2.71 ERA/3.53 FIP/4.04 xFIP) vs. Justin Germano (5.58 ERA/3.93 FIP/4.53 xFIP)

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

On Friday night, the Brewers followed up the Cardinals' choke job with a ninth-inning comeback against the N East leading Nationals in D.C. No such comeback was in the cards on Saturday as the Nats mauled the Brew Crew 10-4. Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez allowed two unearned Milwaukee runs over seven innings and his offense pounded Milwaukee pitching. No Brewers pitcher totaled more than three innings pitched with Washington plating a fraudulent run total in the double digits.

Sunday's Probable Pitchers:

Yovani Gallardo (3.59 ERA/3.90 FIP/3.94 xFIP) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (6.92 ERA/6.07 FIP/5.70 xFIP)

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

The Dodgers offense continued its September slump on Saturday. Mat Latos and Ardolis Chapman combined to pitch a shutout against L.A. Latos was the game's standout, putting together the following pitching line: 8.0 IP, 0 R, 7 SO, 0 BB. The Reds clinched the Central title with the 6-0 win and appear more than ready for October baseball.

Sunday's Probable Pitchers:

Homer Bailey (3.82 ERA/4.12 FIP/4.11 xFIP) vs. Aaron Harang (3.80 ERA/4.18 FIP/4.91 xFIP)

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

The Phillies were thrashed in Atlanta today. The Braves beat up on Roy Halladay with seven runs in the first two innings and knocked the Philly ace out of the game with the following line: 1.2 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 3 SO. Mike Minor turned in a quality start for Atlanta, allowing two runs in six innings off just two hits and one walk. Freddie Freeman, Jayson Heyward, and Chipper Jones all homered. The Braves wound up winning 8-2.

Sunday's Probable Pitchers:

Cliff Lee (3.27 ERA/3.12 FIP/3.09 xFIP) vs. Tim Hudson (3.77 ERA/3.82 FIP/4.18 xFIP)

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