When the Cardinals started this homestand, they surely didn't envision going 1-5. The Cardinals have fallen on hard times, getting swept by Atlanta and losing 2 of 3 to the Marlins. Now the Cardinals face a crucial series with the Cubs, not so much because they are in danger of losing the National League Central, but because they simply need to right the ship before going on a tough nine game road trip.
Goal #1 will be to improve offensively. In this homestand the Cardinals have scored 2 runs or fewer in four of their six games. The Birds did put up 11 in their win against Florida, but the Cardinals need to be much more consistent with the bats. The Cardinals will face tough pitchers throughout the playoffs, so the bats need to be hot going in.
The Cardinals do not get a break as they will face Cardinal-killer Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano. The Cardinals will throw John Smoltz, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright against those Cubs pitchers.
If the Cardinals can right the ship with their bats, the pitching should come through.
The Cardinals magic number is 8, the smallest of any division leader. Who would have thunk it?