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If Cardinals don't drop the ball in Houston, playoffs are in reach

A week ago I said I believed that the Cardinals needed to win seven games out of the nine they had coming up with the Astros and Cubs to have a real shot at the playoffs.

There didn't seem to be much of a chance of that happening at the time thanks to a lousy home series against the surging Brewers followed by a disastrous sweep at the hands of the Padres. But the Birds took care of business with a sweep of Houston in St. Louis and, after some tense moments, the Cardinals took two of three in Chicago.

If they can take two of three in Texas, thanks to the fact that the Nationals pounded Milwaukee Monday to put the Brewers three games back with nine to play, they ought to be able to go .500 the rest of the way and have a decent chance of making the wildcard game.

And wouldn't it be nice if the Birds could sweep Houston to make things even tougher for Milwaukee and the Dodgers?