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As the Cardinals prepare to build a roster for their first postseason matchup, they'll have to consider the readiness of a pair of relievers who have contributed to playoff runs before but are not currently at their best.
The Cardinals' quarantine efforts appear to have stopped the spread of a stomach virus that, according to estimates from manager Mike Matheny, had around 15 players and staff members at less than full strength on Sunday.
Having clinched a postseason berth for the fourth straight season, the Cardinals are looking to return to the Fall Classic for the third time during that stretch. Here are five reasons they could go all the way.
Though their sights are still set on a second straight division title, the Cardinals took the field for Sunday night's regular-season home finale knowing that their season will not end in a week.
As the Cardinals eye a strong finish and look ahead at the chance for another deep postseason run, here is a look back at five things that changed their season.
The Cardinals know they will be playing in October, but where and against whom must still be sorted out over the next week. At this point, every scenario is still in play, from the Cardinals locking down home-field advantage through the National League Championship Series to the club having to go on the road as the second NL Wild Card winner.
With an announced crowd of 45,747 at Busch Stadium for Sunday night's regular-season home finale, the Cardinals pushed past the 3.5 million mark for the second time in nine seasons at the ballpark. It was also the second time since the park opened that the Cardinals drew more than 40,000 fans to all 81 home games.
With a chance to sweep the Reds, the Cardinals were instead blasted about en route to dropping their regular-season home finale, 7-2, in front of the 52nd sellout at Busch Stadium on Sunday night. The Cardinals watched their lead over the Pirates in the National League Central shrink to 2 1/2 games.
Randal Grichuk homered for a second straight night on Saturday as he continues to tear up left-handed pitching. Now 10-for-28 against lefties since returning from the Minors, Grichuk has emerged a key position player among manager Mike Matheny's crowded bench.
With Matt Adams sidelined by illness and Tony Cruz boasting solid career numbers against Reds starter Mike Leake, manager Mike Matheny saw an opportunity to unplug veteran catcher Yadier Molina from behind the plate without sacrificing his bat from the lineup on Saturday.
With a show of power unseen at home this season and a good-enough return from Michael Wacha, the Cardinals put themselves on the cusp of ensuring at least game No. 163. An 8-4 victory over the Reds in front of a home sellout crowd on Saturday reduced the Cardinals' magic number for a postseason berth to one.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny not only had two relievers up and throwing as closer Trevor Rosenthal entered the game on Friday, but also went to both in helping him get through the final inning.
Jon Jay added another two highlight catches to his growing list of defensive gems this season and seemingly saved what finished as a 2-1 win for the Cardinals in their series opener against the Reds on Friday night at Busch Stadium.
With his best start as a Cardinal, John Lackey pitched the Cards closer to a postseason berth with a 2-1 win over the Reds on Friday night at Busch Stadium.
Reds manager Bryan Price lost a challenge on Friday as his team played the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
While there was plenty of jubilation with the result of Matt Holliday's timely headfirst slide into first base on Thursday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny offered a more candid assessment of that strategy when asked about it a day later.
Cardinals players Matt Holliday, Matt Carpenter and Jason Motte are among the St. Louis pro athletes and broadcasters featured in the "We Are #TeamSTL" television campaign that FOX Sports Midwest launched on Friday.
Much as he's done in right field over the past three weeks, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has started a carousel of sorts at second base as he tries to maximize production from a roster that includes half a dozen players capable of handling the position.
Shelby Miller said after the Cardinals' 3-2, extra-inning win over the Brewers on Thursday that he does not expect a bruised right shin to affect his preparation for his next start, which is scheduled to come Tuesday in Chicago.
Tony Cruz hit a walk-off single in the 13th inning as the Cards defeated the Brewers, 3-2, on Thursday night at Busch Stadium. St. Louis maintained its 2 1/2-game lead in the NL Central with the victory.
In one of their biggest replay reversals to date, the Cardinals leaned on an overturned call in order to extend the eighth inning of Thursday's game long enough to finish erasing a two-run deficit. The Cardinals would eventually finish the comeback with a game-winning hit in the 13th to send the Brewers to a 3-2 defeat.
After years of expressing interest in coaching in the Dominican Winter League, Cardinals assistant hitting coach David Bell found a fit as the 2014 manager for the Leones del Escogido club, which plays its home games in the capitol of Santo Domingo and is run by general manager Moises Alou.
Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals' staff earned a feather in its cap on Wednesday night when, with a 2-0 victory over the Brewers, it secured the club's 21st shutout of 2014. It's the most by any Cardinals staff since the 1968 team.
Adam Wainwright kept his pursuit of a second career 20-win season alive with No. 19 in the Cardinals' 2-0 victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium. And while 20 remains, as he described it, "a notch in the belt," Wainwright has his eyes on one better.
Just a little more than a week after fixing the mechanics of his leg kick to improve the momentum of his delivery, Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist has been challenged by the staff to make another adjustment -- this one to stall the running game.
Adam Wainwright broke up a no-hit bid with a two-out single in the sixth and he logged his third shutout of the season as the Cardinals maintained a 2 1/2-game division lead with a 2-0 win over the Brewers on Wednesday night.
Reliever Jason Motte was announced on Tuesday as the Cardinals' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to one of the 30 club finalists "who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field."


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