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No Offense for Cardinals Mike Leake In 2-1 Loss To Reds ~ Cardinals Still NL Wild Card Underdog

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie Aledmys Diaz had the lone run for the Cardinals on Matt Adams ground out double play.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals Mike Leake made his last start of this regular season against his former team, the Cincinnati Reds. He had been 0-1 against the Reds and in last night's game, once again, Leake receive no run support from the Cardinals offense. He allowed only five hits for a 2 RBI single to Adam Duvall in his third, issued no walks and have six strikeouts in his five frames. His second best start since returning from the DL, September 7. 

He faced Reds Anthony DeSclafani, also, 0-1 facing the Cardinals. He held them scoreless through his fourth. In the fifth, he issued a walk to rookie Aledmys Diaz. Greg Garcia connected for single, runners on the corners. Matt Adams grounded into a double play and Diaz was able to put Cardinals one run on the board. DeSclafani got his final out with Matt Carpenter's ground out. 

Both bullpens were able to hold the opposition scoreless, and Reds Raisel Iglesias earned his fifth save this season. Leake was handed the loss, and DeSclafani got the win. The Reds now hold a 2-1 series lead with the final game tonight. Cardinals rookie Alex Reyes (4-1/1.58 ERA) is match-up against Reds Dan Straily (14-8/3.74 ERA). First pitch is scheduled at 6:15 CST. 

NL WILD CARD RACE FOR SECOND PLACE

Three teams have been in this NL Wild Card race. The New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and the Cardinals. Down the stretch, we have seen a three-way tie, back to a two-way tie. The Cardinals have returned as the underdog in this race sitting in third. The Mets sit 1 1/2 games ahead of the Giants, who have one game up over the Cardinals. The Giants lost to the Padres last night; and, with the Cardinals not being able to get past the Reds two runs still are fighting to make a charge for the #2 spot Wild Card spot. The Giants being on the West coast, the Cardinals in the Midwest, St. Louis game results are surmised before San Francisco throws their first pitch. So far, the Giants have been able to retain their spot to go into postseason; but, still within reach. They will face the Los Angeles Dodgers for their last season series. 

There are four games left before season's end. Hard to realize we are already at this point. The Cardinals will look to Reyes to get the win in the final game against the Reds. They look to split the series, before the Pittsburgh Pirates come to Busch Stadium. However, Cardinals offense must find a way to have his back. Save Game Two 12-5 Cardinals win, the Reds have held the Cardinals to three runs. Straily has held the Cardinals to a .170 average. He is 1-0 against St. Louis. He has allowed 3 HR/4 ER in his total 14.2 IP; but, along with 11 strikeouts. The last start Reyes had against the Reds, he went 6 IP/2 ER/2-BB/7 SO, September 2, at Busch Stadium. He had a no-decision in the game, as closer Seung Hwan Oh gave up a solo home run in the Cardinals 3-2 loss. 

In my opinion, crunch time is over. The Cardinals are now in-between a rock and a hard spot. To see a possible Wild Card playoff with the Giants; or, to over take the Giants, they need four wins to close their regular season.   

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