ames 4 and 5 losses, the same old October

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There arent many teams that the St. Louis Cardinals have been able to beat at Busch Stadium this year.One of them is coming to town for the next four games, which might be the boost St. Louis needs as it fights for one of two National League wild-card spots with San Francisco and the New York Mets.The Cardinals welcome the Milwaukee Brewers for the opener of a four-game series Thursday night. St. Louis is 30-37 at home but 5-1 against Milwaukee, including a three-game sweep July 1-3.Although they went 5-4 on a nine-game road trip, the Cardinals (73-65) ended it with a 4-3 loss Wednesday night to Pittsburgh, enabling the surging Mets to tie them for the second wild-card spot. Both teams are a half-game behind the Giants, which blew a ninth inning lead at Colorado Wednesday night and fell 6-5.Had St. Louis delivered a bit better with runners in scoring position in its series finale against the Pirates, it could have overtaken the Giants. But it instead went 3-for-14, failing to add on to its first inning run after the first three hitters singled, hitting into a double play with the bases loaded in the fourth and leaving Yadier Molina stranded in the eighth after his leadoff double.We had chances, lot of chances, but we didnt execute in certain situations and it cost us, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.Whats more, St. Louis saw its streak of games with a homer end at 25, which tied a National League record set earlier this year by San Diego.While St. Louis lost a game it could have won, the Brewers (62-77) were taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs, including a 2-1 verdict Wednesday night that saw third baseman Jonathan Villar homer twice.Chicagos magic number dropped to nine in the National League Central, but Milwaukee battled in the series as though it was pushing for a postseason berth.That felt like a real baseball game, like one youre on the edge of your seat the whole game, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. It was a game youre hanging on every pitch, literally.Milwaukee gives the ball to right-hander Junior Guerra (7-3, 2.85 ERA) for the series opener. Guerra, who dropped his only start this year against the Cardinals, just returned from a disabled list stint against Pittsburgh on Saturday, throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings before leaving after reaching 70 pitches.St. Louis counters with lefty Jaime Garcia (10-11, 4.41), whos dropped his last three starts, although he pitched well for six innings in a 9-1 setback at Cincinnati on Saturday. Garcia is 2-1 in three starts this year against the Brewers with both wins coming at home.St. Louis leads the season series 11-4, and is 59-28 against Milwaukee since the 2012 seasons beginning. Wholesale China Jerseys .C. -- Glenn Howard needed an extra end to move into the Masters Grand Slam of Curling final. NFL Jerseys Outlet . Wilson hit Schenn from behind during Tuesday nights game in Philadelphia, earning a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. He has a phone hearing with the department of player safety, which limits any potential suspension to five or fewer games. http://www.jerseysnflwholesalechina.us/ . Brad Jacobs and his Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., team took control of the game early. Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys . Cote was eligible to become a free agent Feb. 15. Cote helped running back Jon Cornish run for a league-high 1,813 rushing yards en route to being named the leagues most outstanding player. Cheap Football Jerseys China . The 17-year-old native of Marystown, N.L., pulled out of Skate Canada International last month in Saint John, N.B., with the same problem. WASHINGTON -- Jayson Werth knew this seasons NL Division Series defeat following a division title felt different from the same scenarios that played out for the Washington Nationals a couple of other times recently.How so?I dont know, the teams left fielder said, then repeated that phrase in a silent, somber clubhouse in the early hours of Friday after a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5. Words are not really coming to me to describe it. Its pretty heavy. Its going to take some time to digest.For the third time in five years, Werth and Washington won the NL East. And for the third time in five years, they failed to win a postseason series.Now comes an offseason with some familiar questions about when, or even if, the 37-year-old Werth and other members of the core group thats been around for these early exits can take the next step.A lot of people have played baseball a lot longer than me and never even made the playoffs. I cherish getting to the playoffs. Everyone wants to win the World Series. Everyone wants to, obviously, get to the next level and get in a deep postseason run. The truth of the matter is, its really hard to do. You have to obviously play well, get some lucky breaks and have a few things go your way, said first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals very first amateur draft pick more than a decade ago. I think we should look at the positives and look what weve done in the last five years. Obviously, were all disappointed right now. But weve done a lot of good things.Dusty Baker was the latest manager to get Washington into the postseason but not to an NL Championship Series, pulling all the right strings during his first regular season with the team but seeing some moves not quite pan out against LA, especially in Game 5.That added to his decade-plus, four-club track record of failing to win games that would have concluded a series.In the aftermath of elimination, Baker was asked whether its inevitable that a team or a city goes through difficult moments before getting to a championship.You do have to go through some pain. Its not a very pleasant pain. Ive gone through that pain a few times now, Baker said. But you have to persevere. Thats the storyy of life.dddddddddddd Its how you deal with the down times and how you deal with pain. And if you just keep persevering, then something will happen, something good will happen. You cant stop trying. You cant stop trying to reach your goal.Here is what else to know about the Nationals 2016 season and upcoming offseason:STRASBURGS ELBOW: For the second time in his major league career, Stephen Strasburg sat out a postseason because of his right elbow. In 2012, it was because the right-hander was shut down 13 months after Tommy John surgery. This season, it was because Strasburg hurt his arm . His $175 million, seven-year contract kicks in next season, so the Nationals -- and fans -- will hold their breath waiting to find out how badly hes injured. As became clear against the Dodgers, without Strasburg, there is nothing October-ready about the rotation beyond Max Scherzer -- and the Nationals lost both games the NL Cy Young Award favorite started in the NLDS.HARPERS HEALTH: Bryce Harper went from being the youngest unanimous MVP in baseball history in 2015 to a bit of a mystery in 2016. His numbers went way down to a .243 average, 24 homers, 86 RBI in the regular season, and he had only one RBI in the playoffs. The big question is whether he or the Nationals will ever explain exactly what his health status was -- because if he wasnt badly compromised by injury, then his lack of production at the plate becomes a lot more worrisome.BULLPEN PROBLEMS: Time to rebuild the relief corps again. Closer Mark Melancon and middleman Marc Rzepczynski can become free agents (as can catcher Wilson Ramos , who had right knee surgery Friday). Setup man Shawn Kelley left Game 5 with numbness in his throwing hand. While the bullpen was spotless through three games against the Dodgers, it blew leads in Games 4 and 5 losses, the same old October story for this team.TURNERS EMERGENCE: The best news for Washington might be the emergence of rookie Trea Turner, who batted .342 with 13 homers, 40 RBI and 33 steals despite only 307 at-bats and while learning to play center field. 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