Major League Baseball on Monday announced the start times for Division Series games through Sunday. FS1 and MLB Network will exclusively televise all American League Division Series games, while TBS will exclusively telecast all National League Division Series games. All postseason games will be telecast in Canada by Sportsnet.
In advance of the Cardinals' fifth postseason trip in as many years, general manager John Mozeliak sat down with MLB.com for a wide-ranging question-and-answer session. Here are some of his thoughts on how the season, notable individual performers and what's ahead as the organization seeks its 12th World Series championship.
A postseason participant for the fifth straight season, the Cardinals have already accomplished something never before done in franchise history. But this is a club conditioned not just to play into October but also deep into it.
After a weekend of resting their regulars and scripting controlled appearances for others, the Cardinals closed the 162-game portion of the season Sunday and turned their attention to accomplishing a new set of goals. On Friday in Game 1 of the NL Division Series, they host the winner of the Cubs-Pirates NL Wild Card Game.
Finishing off the regular season on a high note, the Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Cardinals with a 2-0 victory in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday at Turner Field. Starter Matt Wisler turned in a gem for the Braves, ending his rookie season one out shy of his first career complete game and shutout.
Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who suffered a concussion in an outfield collision with Peter Bourjos on Monday, passed every necessary test to return to the field, but said he needed to wait for his players' union paperwork to clear before he could return. Everything was in order Sunday, and as a result, Piscotty returned to the lineup, batting second and playing right field in a 6-0 loss in Game 1 of a doubleheader with the Braves.
From the looks of Adam Wainwright's performance Sunday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is justified in his confidence in Wainwright's curveball, his signature pitch. But in his three outings since returning from the disabled list after his Achilles injury, Wainwright has inspired confidence with more than just his hook.
Shelby Miller ended a maddening four-month winless streak and frustrated his former Cardinals teammates over the eight scoreless innings he completed while helping the Braves claim a 6-0 win in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader at Turner Field.
The Cardinals' already complicated center-field situation may become even more so as the team weighs the viability of Randal Grichuk as an option at that position. Manager Mike Matheny acknowledged Saturday that playing Grichuk in center field "might be a bit of a push with his limited ability to throw still."
Julio Teheran completed his season in impressive fashion and the Braves marred Jaime Garcia's final tuneup for the postseason with a two-run third inning that proved sufficient during Friday night's 4-0 win over the Cardinals at Turner Field.
With the National League Central title and home-field advantage in their pocket, the Cardinals will use this weekend's final regular-season series to ready for the start of their NL Division Series next Friday in St. Louis.
Jason Heyward grew up in Atlanta and spent the first five seasons of his Major League career as one of the Braves' most popular players. But when he returned to Turner Field on Friday for the first time since being traded to the Cardinals, Heyward was not necessarily sentimental.
The Cardinals, though picked by many to finish as National League Central champs, navigated to that end in an unexpected way as they posted a 100-plus-win season. With the Cards in the postseason for a franchise-record fifth straight season and preparing to host the Pirates or Cubs in the National League Division Series beginning on Oct. 9, here is a look back at five events that changed the season.
The Cards kept their on-field celebration low-key out of respect for the Pirates, but the clubhouse was another matter entirely. They sang and danced, took photos and selfies, and sprayed champagne and beer all over the place, soaking their gray "The Central Is Ours" shirts until they were a full shade darker.
With an 11-1 victory over the Pirates in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader, the Cardinals were crowned kings of what has been baseball's toughest division this season. And now that the NL Central title is theirs, they can turn their attention to preparing to host one of those two division foes in Game 1 of the Division Series.
In a season where so much of the focus has been on who went down and who came up to fill a void, it was Jason Heyward, one of the constants from season start to season end, who uncorked Wednesday's champagne celebration.
It has been an extraordinary season for the Cardinals, so why wouldn't they raise a third consecutive NL Central pennant in extraordinary fashion? That was the case on Wednesday night, when lefty Tyler Lyons filled an emergency with the best start of his career and was backed by Jason Heyward's third-inning grand slam as the Cardinals personally knocked out the Pirates, 11-1.
Good never seems good enough and great sometimes gets topped by even greater. So go ahead and pick your own qualifier to describe the 2015 season, but make sure it's one you've saved for a special occasion.
Without any recollection of the hit that left him momentarily unconscious in left-center on Monday, Stephen Piscotty returned to PNC Park on Wednesday and was in the dugout for both of the Cardinals' doubleheader games.
Mike Matheny made a case after an 8-2 loss to the Pirates in Game 1 of the Wednesday's doubleheader that Michael Wacha pitched better than his final line conveyed. But despite whatever may be in the eye of the beholder, there is no skirting around the reality that Wacha will enter the postseason on the heels of the worst month of his career.
Francisco Cervelli's grand slam carried Gerrit Cole to his 19th win and temporarily kept the Cardinals' National League Central-clinching champagne on ice as the Pirates took Game 1 of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader, 8-2, at PNC Park.
The Cardinals activated right-hander Adam Wainwright on Wednesday, and he appeared in the eighth inning of St. Louis' 8-2 loss in Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Pirates. The right-hander allowed one run on two hits, with Pittsburgh extending its lead to 8-2 in the inning. It was Wainwright's first time back on a mound since April 25, when he hobbled off the field at Miller Park after tearing his left Achilles tendon.
The Cardinals are headed to the postseason, and this will be the first time that many fans across the league will be focusing on their roster. Here's our attempt to give them a head start with the origins of every player wearing the birds on the bat.