>I’ve been pretty quiet about all things Cardinals on this blog so far this year.  In part because I’ve been spending so much time on BLB, but also because it’s been a crazy summer, and I just haven’t had the time that I’ve had in the past.

However, as we are wrapping up the last 20 or so games of the year, it’s becoming abundantly clear to me that the Cardinals, while not officially out of the playoffs, are pretty much done for the year.  Since August 11th, when they swept the Reds to move into first place, the Cardinals have gone 10-20.  What’s worse is that during this stretch, they only played two teams that are in playoff contention (Braves and Giants), and have gone 4-3 in those games.  In other words, the Cardinals have managed to go 6-17 against sub-.500 teams.  It got me thinking that if by some miracle the Cardinals were to make the playoffs, believe it or not, they would actually do well against the top competition in the league.  I know it sounds crazy, but check this out.

Against teams above .500
The Cardinals are 26-20.  They still have a series left against both the Rockies and Padres, and those are the only two winning teams that they have losing records against, so they could turn that around.

Against teams hovering around .500
The Cardinals are 10-7.  They still have a make-up game against the Marlins, against whom they are 2-2 so far this season.

Against teams below .500
The Cardinals are 38-42.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Against lesser competition, the Cardinals actually play worse, especially when it comes to their divisional opponents.  The Cardinals have more losses against the Astros and Brewers than any other 3 teams on their schedule.  In fact, the only below .500 teams that the Cardinals have a winning record against: Pirates, 6-3; Diamondbacks, 5-4; and Angels/Mariners, 2-1 each.  Do some quick math there, and they are only 6 games above .500 themselves in those match-ups.

So, where is the silver lining in all of this?  Well, of the games that the Cardinals have left, they only have 4 against sub-.500 clubs that play outside of Pittsburgh.  Those four are with the Cubs.  They have 6 with the Pirates, one with the Marlins and four against both the Padres and Rockies.

But, here’s the thing, if you don’t beat the teams that you’re “supposed” to beat, you aren’t going to make it to the next level.  The Cardinals have clearly failed to do that this year.

Baseball-Reference.com tracks “blow-out” win-loss record.  This is a team’s record in games decided by 5+ runs.  Believe it or not, the Cardinals are 28-16 in these types of games.  Of their 69 losses (as of September 14th), they were only really out of 16 of them.

It’s been a frustrating month as a Cardinal fan.  Of course, I’m going to stick with them until they are officially eliminated, but I gotta tell ya… that fantasy football team is looking to take over my attention right about now.