Cheap Seats

Cardinals can't sweep Atlanta, but hold serve vs. Pirates, Reds

The Cardinals lost Sunday to the Atlanta Braves in the finale of their four-game set.

But it's hard to complain when they clawed their way back to first place Saturday night -- especially when the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds also lost Sunday.

Starting pitcher Lance Lynn was OK, Sunday but not great. He didn't get much help at all from the offense. The only Birds batsmen who had big days were Allen Craig, who had three hits, and Matt Carpenter, who had two.

The Cardinals have seen Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday pick things up at the plate. Hopefully the big day for Craig is a sign that he's ready to re-join the party.

The pitching has also been much better lately. But Lynn -- or someone else -- is going to have to buckle down and handle that second spot in the St. Louis rotation if the Cardinals are going to be competitive in short playoff series. Adam Wainwright can't pitch every game of the postseason. And the Cardinals are going to have to face much better pitching on a consistent basis if they make it to October baseball. 

The Redbirds now face the Reds and then the Pirates in a pair of series that could go a long way in deciding who will ultimately win the National League Central Division title.