On Aug. 26, the words “Cardinals” and “wild card” did not go together. Trailing the Braves by 10 1/2 games meant that wasn’t even something to consider.
Yet the lead began to shrink. It was 8 1/2 games on Sept. 5, then 4 1/2 on Sept. 12 following a sweep of the Braves. Now, of course, it’s down to 1 — with three chances to close the gap completely.
The September we’ll remember comes down to tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday in Houston. The September the Braves so far want to forget comes down to tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday at home against the Phillies.
If you’re worried the Cardinals might be tense or uptight about what’s ahead, take a look at the picture. Hawaiian shirts were the theme for this “happy flight.”
Yesterday’s win, just like Saturday’s, was another comeback. And the hero, Rafael Furcal, received welcome redemption after a rough couple days. His ninth inning error Thursday afternoon against the Mets started that game’s unraveling. And, as Derrick Goold writes, that had been on Furcal’s mind:
“For me, it made me wake up,” Furcal said. The error “was in my mind the last two or three days. It’s tough the way we are here now and one mistake, something like that, and you’re finished. I couldn’t sleep. … It’s something that I had in my mind, that I had to pick up my team because we’re fighting for a place in the playoffs. It is a good moment.”