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Cardinals fly into Philadelphia, hot as ever

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Fresh off the area's only good baseball team getting eliminated from the Little League World Series, we're going to have to watch the Phillies (ugh) play the red hot Cardinals.

With the support of Jon Hamm, what can't the Cardinals do? They've won eight of their last nine, taking three of four from the Padres and sweeping the Reds, compiling further victories so that they stay insufferably in the NL playoff race, feeding their terrible hunger.

Clearly, people expect more from those quirky Cards. Like this writer in a Southwestern Illinois paper, who called the NL Wild Card-leading team "disappointing underachievers."

Heh heh, you Cardinals people. What more do you want? Regular playoff contention, a division of weak-willed teams, the backing of Hollywood's handsomest gentleman. Seriously, go to hell.

The Phillies, well. Jayson Stark smells change on the wind, and the Rusney Castillo sweepstakes are heating up nothing else is happening. September call-ups, I guess.

But as far as the rest of this season goes, they're just going to let stuff - like a hot Cardinals squad - happen to them. And we will be forced to watch by no one.

Heavy Hitters

Jon Jay

The outfielder is hitting .514 over a 12-game stretch. But also, something about him makes pitchers want to hit him with baseballs, as he leads the league with 16 HBPs. Take that, Jon Jay! Jerk.

Jhonny Peralta

Jhonny's riding an unheard of bases-clearing double streak over three games, in one of those glorious patches only Cardinals players seem to reach. In the last week, he's attained a 1.059 OPS, logging seven hits and six RBI in five games like some kind of a-hole.

Matt Adams

The Cardinals first baseman shares a .350 BA over the last seven days with his co-star Peralta, but fortunately his OPS sits at a mere .985 (.817 for the season). Like a good Cardinal, he's knocking hits, he's touching bases, but his "orphans saved from burning bus" numbers are unarguably down, so let's file this one under "disappointing underachiever."

Matt Carpenter

I don't know man, over the last week, all of the Cardinals' eyes have rolled back into their heads and they've entered a somewhat unstoppable offensive state, punching screaming liners through the hole, then wiping the dribbling foam off their chins at first base. The third baseman is not different, with seven hits over the last five games and 13 over the last 12.

Ben Revere

Ben Revere is making a run for a batting title, and I really doubt it's on purpose.

Probable Starters

Adam Wainwright vs. Kyle Kendrick

jesus christ

Shelby Miller vs. David Buchanan

D'aaawwww, Shelby Miller had a rough patch, you guys. It's just not fair, y'know? He was so solid in 2013, with that 3.06 ERA and that 3.67 FIP. There was gleeful talk of his role in a playoff rotation as a 22-year-old.

This year he's just been so bad, with an ERA reaching as high as 3.89. Yes, Cardinals people were concerned when their 23-year-old starter's ERA ballooned to not even 4.00. I mean, don't get me wrong. He's been bad. But he came back from All-Star break with some semblance of his former self. The truth remains, though, that he's a 23-year-old starter, and we don't even know what his "self" really is. And we won't get to, because he doesn't play for the Phillies.

David Buchanan plays for the Phillies, though. Look at him go. Oh my goodness! His ERA is over 4.00! Better call the commissioner, something sinister appears to be afoot!

In reality, Buchanan has been of the Phillies' better back of the rotation guys in the past few years. What a shame he is on a last place team and not a team that was a solid back of the rotation guy away from a playoff spot.

Justin Masterson vs. Jerome Williams

The Jamaican-born Masterson has had one beauty of a start for St. Louis since joining them at the trade deadline, a seven-inning, three-hit shutout of the Marlins. In his other three starts combined, he's been popped for 14 earned runs in 13 IP. One particularly poor start saw him throw 61 pitches over two innings and then get yanked.

Despite hanging around in the AL West for parts of his career, and therefore being exposed to the Mariners a bit recently, Williams stymied Seattle in his last start. In nine appearances and eight starts against the Cardinals in his career, he's gone a total of 40 innings with a 5.85 ERA. But apparently that doesn't matter! Apparently, none of this matters.

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Jump in now. Here's the FanDuel link.

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