Yesterday's win wasn't the proverbial nail in the coffin just yet, but it may have been close. I won't pop the champagne until it is official - a lot can happen to make us look the fool - but as a Cardinals blogger told me last week, it's probably okay to go ahead and put the champagne on ice. A win today is probably enough to allow the Reds coast home the rest of the way. We've talked before about what the Cards would have to do if the Reds won X amount of games the rest of the way. A win today would put the Reds up by 10 games in the win column, so the Cardinals would have to win at least 10 more games than the Reds to even tie. With 26 games left, including 19 against teams that are currently at least 9 games under .500, I'd say it is a pretty safe bet that the Reds will win at least 10 more games after today. With the way they've been playing for the last couple of months, does anybody really think the Cardinals will win at least 20 of their last 28 games? I'm not saying it can't happen, but the likelihood of it is pretty slim.
What would truly be awesome though is for Homer Bailey to out-pitch Chris Carpenter today and for the Reds to finally beat the Cardinals' right-hander again. Carpenter has won 9-straight starts against the Reds. Not decisions, starts. The Reds haven't beaten Carpenter since June 6, 2006, when he was beaten by...Eric Milton. The only player in the Reds lineup that day who is still with the Reds is Brandon Phillips. In fact, there were more players in the Cardinals lineup who are now with the Reds - Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds. Besides Carpenter, the only other current Cardinals who played that day are Yadier Molina and Aaron Miles (Pujols didn't play). That's how long it has been since the Reds beat Chris Carpenter.
Win or lose today, the Reds will still have at least a 7-game lead. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy.