After a 7-2 win over Milwaukee on Saturday evening, the Cardinals magic number for a playoff appearance is down to one. This would be their third consecutive playoff appearance. With the Redbirds playing the final game of their three-game series in Milwaukee on Sunday evening, and the Nationals playing a doubleheader against the Braves, if the Nats lose either game, the Cardinals will automatically clinch a spot before they take the field.
The Cardinals also hold a two-game lead over the Pirates in the NL Central with seven games remaining. They trail Atlanta by a half-game for the best record in the National League. The Pirates and Reds play each other four more times this season, with the Reds a game behind the Pirates for the second Wild Card spot and the Nationals 4-1/2 games behind the Reds.
First baseman Matt Adams hit another two-run homer in Saturdays game, his seventh since starter Allen Craig went on the disabled list September 4, and his 16th of the season. Daniel Descalso and David Freese also collected two RBIs each in the five-run eighth inning.
Starter Lance Lynn (14-10) has been rejuvenated, putting behind a stretch of tough losses and looking like the Lance Lynn of the early part of the season. Just two weeks ago, management was considering removing Lynn from the rotation. He has made three quality starts since, giving up just three earned runs in 18-2/3 innings.
With the Cardinals building a big cushion in the eighth inning of Saturdays game, manager Mike Matheny was saved the decision of who to have close out a possible one-run win. Edward Mujica has struggled lately and the bullpen has been stretched with two consecutive extra inning games.