VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
CFL
More
Betting Tools

 
Kids fueled Cards' NL Central title drive

ST. LOUIS (AP) - No matter how strong the veteran core, the St. Louis Cardinals never could have won the NL Central without fresh faces.

Advertisement
The closer, shortstop and longtime staff ace got hurt in February. Jaime Garcia's season ended in May and Allen Craig has missed most of September and has been ruled out through at least the NL division series because of a sprained foot. Chris Carpenter, Jason Motte and Rafael Furcal have been full-time bystanders.

Players plucked from the minors helped fill the voids as the Cardinals won the NL Central for the first time since 2009 and the 11th time in 18 seasons since Bill DeWitt Jr.'s group bought the franchise.

``Hopefully they don't check IDs before we get to the playoffs,'' closer-of-the-moment Trevor Rosenthal said with a laugh late Friday after finishing off the clincher with a 7-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. ``It's crazy. Look around, and most of the guys have come up together through the organization. It's a cool feeling.''

The Cardinals figured they'd get contributions from Shelby Miller, Rosenthal and Michael Wacha, a trio of 22-year-olds, and all three exceeded expectations. Miller leads major league rookies with 15 wins, Rosenthal seized the closer job when Edward Mujica faltered and Wacha was one out shy of a no-hitter in his last start. Joe Kelly, 24, was the strongest starter for about a month-and-a-half.

``We had some tough breaks and we lost some key guys, and we just kept pushing forward,'' said Matt Carpenter, who leads the majors in hits, runs, multihit games and doubles. ``It's been a special year, and everybody believes we're not done.''

Seth Maness, 24, has induced 15 double-play grounders in 61 1-3 innings as a middle reliever, and left-hander Kevin Siegrist, a 41st-round draft pick, began Saturday with an 0.47 ERA, allowing 16 hits in 38 2-3 innings. Lefties John Gast and Tyler Lyons both debuted with two strong wins.

``Think of the players we had to bring up,'' DeWitt said. ``You can go on and on about this team. To have good stuff, and then to come up and do it as a rookie are two different things.''

With two games to go the Cardinals had a major league-leading 36 wins by rookie pitchers. They had used 20 rookies in all, their most since 21 debutantes in 1970.

The Cardinals were a game out of first place entering September and lost their cleanup man and the majors' best clutch hitter on Sept. 4 when Craig hobbled off with a left mid-foot sprain. Matt Adams stepped in with eight homers his first 21 games as the everyday first baseman.

Adam Wainwright got the final out in the 2006 World Series and was a key member of the 2011 title team. He relished standing in the center of the clubhouse getting drenched by teammates, but had just as much fun watching the kids celebrate.

``I'm just glad these young guys are getting a chance to pop the champagne, a lot of people never get that chance,'' Wainwright said. ``These are the memories that you look back on and say `You know what, that time we had in St. Louis winning a division in 2013, that was special.'''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Red Sox outlast Braves, 'over' hits
Indians reliever Miller back on DL
Marlins' Prado to DL; Riddle recalled
Mengden tosses 2-hitter; A's top D'Backs
Flaherty shines as Cards top Pirates
Pirates activate OF Marte off DL
Reynolds HR helps Nats beat Miami
Nola-led Phils top Jays and lead NL East
Rays use a bullpen day to beat Orioles
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
4-0 L4, 9-2 +723 L11, +1,638 TY
8-3 L11, 52-23 Run, 14-2 G-Plays
13-3 L16 G-Plays, 8-2 L10 Totals
4-1 L5, 12-4 Streak, 12-3 G-Plays
25-10, +1,579 L35 Guarantees
16-6, +1,057 L22 G-Plays
6-2, +439 Record L3 Days
12-5, +678 L17 G-Plays
6-3 L9 G-Plays, 16-6 L22 Totals
7-2 Last 9 MLB G-Plays
38-20 L58 Over/Unders
13-5, +886 Last 18 Selections
8-3 L11 Guaranteed Plays
3-1 L4 G-Plays, 7-3 L10 Picks
3-0 Record Last 3 Days
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Dave Cokin
2018 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 3101
Kyle Hunter + 1638
Zack Cimini + 1044
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 2112
Kyle Hunter + 1134
Chip Chirimbes + 1040
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 1835
Kyle Hunter + 831
Jim Feist + 795
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1648
Gary Bart + 1578
Kyle Hunter + 1343
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 970
Jimmy Boyd + 578
TJ Pemberton + 403
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 935
Joe Nelson + 820
Brian Bitler + 540
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership