St. Louis is having such a good season that even losing works out well.
Although they lost 6-2 to Cincinnati on Thursday, the Cardinals still clinched home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs when Atlanta lost 4-0 to Philadelphia earlier in the day.
The Cardinals are trying to make it back to the World Series, where they were swept by Boston last year.
“We still want to play as hard as we can, but at the same time, this is a chance for players or pitchers who are fatiguing or sore to get some rest,” said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who is taking his 11th team to the postseason. “We want at least to see the same effort and players trying to execute.”
He’s had two chances to post his 22nd win, but has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts.
Milwaukee left-hander Chris Capuano still has an outside shot to be the Brewers’ first 20-game winner in 20 seasons, but he needs to win his final three starts.
He already is the club’s first 17-game winner since 1992, and manager Ned Yost has said he would bring back Capuano on short rest to pitch the season finale in Pittsburgh if it was a “meaningful game.”
The Brewers are 3-10 against St. Louis this season, their worst mark against any opponent.
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