St. The Louis Cardinals got hot at the right time and are entering their penultimate series of the 2021 season on a winning streak of 16 games in good position to win the second National League wild card spot.
St. Louis catcher Andrew Knizner scored the green light on Chicago Cubs pitcher Codi Heuer’s wild pitch in the ninth inning to give the Cards their most recent victory Sunday, 4-2.
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“We did the little things, the little things that help you win games,” said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.
The little things have helped the Cardinals win most of their matches down the stretch. St. Louis is 20-6 in September and has not lost a game since Sept. 10. Six of the victories during the streak have been with two races or less.
The winning streak has helped the Cardinals get into the second wild card spot where they have stayed. The team was four matches behind the Reds in the winning column after their match on September 10th. Everything has changed since then.
Behind Paul Goldschmidt, Harrison Bader, Nolan Arenado and pitching appearances from veterans like Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester have St. Louis control over his own destiny. The Cardinals will win a wild card spot with a win and loss to the Reds and Philadelphia Phillies.
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St. Louis could face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the San Francisco Giants in single-game elimination.
Knizner said the team is focused.
“We’re really locked in,” he said via MLB.com. “We play good baseball, we play all the way through the ninth inning until the last court.
“We never feel like we’m out of the game and I think when you look at the whole season, I think we played good baseball. We just had to put together all the phases. I finally think, now, maybe at the most important time of the season, we put it all together. “
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Cardinals joined the Philadelphia Quakers from 1887 as the only major league team in history to win their last 11 road games or more in a season.
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The Cardinals begin a series with NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday and end the season against the Cubs next weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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