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Cardinals vs. Cubs, Sept. 20

I'm not going to spend much time worrying about this one. The Cardinals won two of three against the Cubs and all but hammered the last nail in the Wee Bears' coffin.

The Cardinals came through when it counted two of three times. And they would have swept the series if Ryan Ludwick -- the player with the highest percentage of fly balls hit in the National League -- could have hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Instead, he hit a grounder that turned into a double play when it was ruled that Matt Holliday interfered with the shortstop as he tried to make a throw to first base that went wide.

It was uncomfortably similar to a play earlier in the game when Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan was forced to throw the ball wide when a Cubs player interfered with his throw. Instead of a double play, the result was a run scored that eventually allowed the Cubs to win the game 6-3 in 11 innings.

blog post photo

Albert Pujols hits a double Sunday night against the Cubs. It was one of only seven hits St. Louis could manage, and the Cardinals lost the game 6-3 in 11 innings. AP photo.

Ultimately, the Cardinals lost the game because they only managed seven hits and three runs in 11 innings. They're going to need to figure out what it takes to get the offense going if they hope to have any success in the post season. The excuse that they're faced good pitchers in the Chicago series doesn't wash because all of the teams in the playoffs are going to have good pitching...

Cardinals Star of the Game: Adam Wainwright pitched seven solid innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs. But he was unable to solidify his Cy Young case with another victory on his resume.

Lowlight: Ludwick was 0-for-5 and was unable to come through with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth.

The Cardinals' magic number remains at 4 as the team heads to Cincinnati for a three-game set. Their lead in the NL Central race stands at 10 games.