Catching Up With The Cardinals: 25 Games Left Edition

So, here we are after yesterday’s break — the St. Louis Cardinals are 74-63 with 25 games remaining. They are the second wild card team right now, with a lead of 1 1/2 games over both the Pirates and the Dodgers. The Brewers are at Busch Stadium tonight to start a weekend series before the Cardinals hit the road for San Diego and — big series alert — four games in Los Angeles next Thursday through Sunday.

And will Chris Carpenter be starting one of the 25 games left? Chances are you caught the coverage of the three-inning simulated game he threw on Tuesday (and, if not, here’s a look at what the Post-Dispatch has including a video). If things continue to go well for him, it looks like he will start a game — which is just so amazing.

As a reminder, he had a rib removed on July 19 as part of surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. The term BAMF doesn’t begin to describe his drive and determination, does it? And this picture is my favorite from Tuesday. The caption from the Post-Dispatch tells us this is what he did after he threw those pitches. Yep, time for a run through the stands to cool down. CC has a bullpen session today.

Then there’s Lance Berkman. He has mentioned retiring at the end of the season, due to his knees, and here’s an update on that from Fox 26 in Houston. His future plans?

“If I do decide to retire my next move is going to be to enroll at Rice and to be a student assistant for the baseball team,” Berkman said.

But those decisions are for the off-season — he does still have his priorities on the now:
In the meantime Berkman wants to help his Cardinals win some games. “I’d love to win another World Series and I think that the Cardinals team that we have right now is capable of doing that and I want to be a part of that,” Berkman said.

Yesterday announced the top 20 minor league prospects for each team, and the Cardinals have a new No. 1 in Oscar Taveras, who was named the Texas League Player of the Year last week. Find the list of the Cards top prospects here. And, in three weeks, we’ll have a list of our Top 7 prospects as part of the United Cardinal Bloggers next project. (Chances are very good that our seven are among the 20!)

Robert Stock, one of those 20, is a definite favorite of ours since he’s been with the Quad Cities River Bandits first as a catcher and then this season as a pitcher. Here’s a fascinating article I saw last week where Robert talks about his transition, his pitches and grades himself on them.

Finally, one year ago with 25 games remaining the Cards were 73-64 and had just finished a three-game sweep of the Brewers. Obviously they weren’t in the same position as 2012 when it comes to the wild card — the rest of the “September to remember” was to come, followed by October. And the post-season in particular is the subject of Tony La Russa’s upcoming book “One Strike Away: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season” that will be released on Sept. 25. Here’s a video of TLR reading an excerpt from the book about — what else? — Game 6, but the first “one strike away” moment. (Yes, I still get teary-eyed seeing David Freese’s triple. How about you?)

Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

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