The St. Louis Cardinals put themselves in a tight spot by losing to the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night.
The setback, combined with the uninterested Atlanta Braves coughing up a 2-0 lead to the Pittsburgh Pirates, has caused the Redbirds' National League Central Division lead to shrink to 1 1/2 games.
Thats particularly concerning because the Pirates have two more games with the Braves and they're likely to win them both. That means, if the Cardinals fail to win the rubber game of the Cubs series Wednesday, the teams could end up tied with three games apiece remaining in the season.
Even if the Birds win today, a one-game lead as they enter the last weekend of the season is far too small for comfort.
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It will be interesting to see how hard the Cincinnati Reds play in their season finale against the Pirates.
Sure, Pittsburgh has been very hot lately -- albeit against a string of weak and/or unconcerned teams. But that doesn't excuse the Cardinals. St. Louis had a comfortable 3 1/2 game lead just a couple of days ago by turned in a lousy performance Sunday and then lost to the Cubs on Tuesday to give away more than half of their advantage.