The Cardinals won their weekend series from Kansas City, getting 2 runs on bases loaded walks and hanging on for a 9-8 win in 10 Sunday. The win pushes them to their biggest season lead in the division at 2.5 games (tying their lead on May 3), their farthest over .500, and just percentage points behind San Francisco for the second-best record in the league.
Their offense is clicking, and now they go to San Diego to play the woeful Padres.
The Cardinals have dominated San Diego in St Louis since 2004 (when Petco Park opened). Despite losing 2 of 3 to open this season they are 19-9 in that stretch. They have struggled in San Diego though; they are 11-11 at Petco. Some of those Padres teams were better than others, but the Cardinals have trouble there.
Now the Padres are in a funk right now. They followed a streak of scoring 7 runs a game for 5 games by scoring 6 runs TOTAL in their last 7. Looks like an easy sweep, right? I wouldn’t count these chickens yet. San Diego did call a team meeting yesterday after being smoked by Felix Hernandez. Team meetings are not unusual, but they are for the Padres; manager Bud Black rarely calls them. The Padres are being embarassed at home and they are an angry team right now.
Based on sheer roster talent the Cardinals should cruise through this 3-game set. But a word of caution: the Padres feel like a cornered team. Don’t be surprised if they play markedly better over the next 3 days than they have over the past week.
I will be at tonight’s and tomorrow’s games. Game summaries will go up over at Padres Trail; I will post links to those stories here.