I did a quick search of Baseball-reference.com to see what the Cardinals record in Ten-Run, er, Enron, er, Minute Maid Park is since that bandbox opened in 2000. Turns out, including last night's game, the Redbirds are 38-39 down there. That surprised me.
Turns out, since Houston abandoned the Astrodome the Cardinals have had only 2 losing campaigns in Houston: 2003 (3-6), and 2006 (3-7). They've been .500 or better in every other year. I guess my belief that they get clobbered down there is distorted by the team's 1-5 record during the 2004 and 2005 NLCS'.
Even this year, going into today, they're 4-4. But the last two losses have really, really hurt.
Bernie Miklasz wrote an article, before the last Brewers series, pooh-poohing those of us who were approaching that series as do or die. He mentioned that there was still a full month of baseball left (true), and that the weekend series in Houston was arguably more important, as Milwaukee was headed to Pittsburgh where they've owned the Pirates. While I still disagree in that the Cardinals really needed to sweep the 2-game set, his comments about this weekend were right on the money.
5.5 out with 26 to play is far, far worse than 3.5 out with 28 to play. If the two games against Milwaukee were must games, then this one Wellemeyer's starting is an ABSOLUTE MUST game. You've got to assume Milwaukee's going to win (they're already up 1-0 as I write this), so we gotta keep pace. But let's be realistic; Milwaukee has 27 games left, we have 26. If the Brewers play out the string 14-13 we have to go 19-7 just to catch them. That's better than they've played (.730) all season.
So let's just get this one, huh? We'll go from there.
17 minutes ago