How the St. Louis Cardinals took command of second NL Wild Card spot

Sep 18, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos (65) and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) celebrate their teamÕs win over the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos (65) and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) celebrate their teamÕs win over the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports /

Pitching

Much of the September rise in the standings falls on the success St. Louis has been found on the mound since that Dodgers loss. In a 10-game stretch from September 8-18, St. Louis pitchers posted a cumulative 2.35 ERA while opponents hit just .223 against them.

St. Louis has also found a way to close games, something that haunted them earlier in the season in painful walkoff losses against National League Central rivals Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.

The St. Louis Cardinals seem to have figured out their late-inning issues

Since the start of September, Giovanny Gallegos has converted on 6-of-7 save opportunities. In his last seven outings, he has six saves and has allowed two hits and struck out 11 in 6.2 innings of work.

And let’s not forget what starting pitcher Adam Wainwright is doing at the age of 40. He has a 1.70 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in his last seven starts where he has struck out 32 while walking just nine.

Since the All-Star break, Wainwright is 9-2 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 starts.