In the battle to accidentally win the National League Central, the Cubs travel to St. Louis in a series that actually has a couple of relevant points of interest. And by "relevant," I mean I haven't made a post in awhile and by "interest," I mean I get to make fun of Jeff Samardzija again.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have been busy losing to crappy teams themselves so they have successfully avoided catching up to Dusty's Reds that are doing a spot-on imitation of the 2004 Cubs' final two weeks (minus the bitching at the broadcasters, of course). The National League Central is a pathetic joke and the fact that the Cubs can't win it every year is justifiable grounds to eliminate them as a franchise, but I digress.
For this series, the Cards seem hellbent and determined to finally step on the Cubs' throats and make a move on the Reds by starting Rookie of the Year candidate, Jaime Garcia, and perennial Cy Young candidates, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter up against Samardzija, Wells, and the now dormant, Mount Zambrano. The next thing you know, Matt Holliday will try using his glove instead of his crotch to try to catch fly balls. The rivalry really brings out the best in everyone.
Since the Cubs managed a total of five runs over the weekend against the Brewers dominating trio of Dave Bush, Randy Wolf, and Yovanni Gallardo, I estimate that they will manage -10 runs against the Cardinals. But since the Cardinals offense now features both Pedro Feliz AND Aaron Miles, that might still be enough for the Cubs to get a victory or two.
In addition to approaching mathematical elimination with a loss, a win will guarantee that the Cubs can't lose 100 games, which seemed to be an inevitability just a few weeks ago. Five more wins will prevent the 2010 team from being worse than the 2006 version, except there won't be $300 million spent in the off-season to fix this version so I hope that is good enough for everyone.
So there you have it. Much is at stake as they get ready to battle under the arch. The real question is whether we care about any of it.