If a team wants to win a championship, the first thing it needs to do is make sure it takes care of business by winning games against weaker teams.
So the Cardinals need to take advantage of their three game set with the Milwaukee Brewers, a team that has lost eight of its last nine games on its way to the worst record in Major League Baseball, 3-13.
Word out of Milwaukee is that the Brewers are considering making changes to their coaching staff to shake things up. So it's not a good time for the Redbirds to take their foot off the Brewers' throat and allow them to get up off the floor. They're already eight games behind the first-place Cardinals.
Keep in mind that the Pittsburgh Pirates got off to a woeful start in 2014. And that's all that kept them from catching St. Louis in the division race at the end of the season. The Bucs came on strong and fell just short of tying the Cardinals on the last day of the campaign. So don't let anyone tell you that the games in April are any less important than the ones in August and September.
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While the Cardinals have been enjoying the red-hot bats of Matt Carpenter who has a 10-game hitting streak and a league-leading 21-game streak of getting on base that dates back to last year and Matt Holliday, who is hitting .383, the Brewers big bats have been ice-cold.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy was batting .133 when he found his way to the 15-day disabled list. Aramis Ramirez is hitting .167 in what he says will be his last season in the big leagues. Ryan Braun is hitting .259 with one home run.
While the Redbirds lead MLB with a 2.06 earned run average from their starting pitchers, Milwaukee only has one starter with an ERA below 5.40. The Brewers are 29th in the big leagues with a 4.89 mark from their rotation.
The Cardinals have won every three-game series which they've completed so far this season. At a minimum. they need to keep that streak alive and defeat Milwaukee two out of three before returning to Busch Stadium next week for a four-game set against another weak team, the rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies.
Philadelphia is the second-worst team in the NL at 5-11 as they continue to try to trade Ryan Howard and entertain offers for ace Cole Hamels.