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With the current standings, the Red Birds are 55-48, four-and-a-half games behind the second place Pittsburgh Pirates and seven games back from the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds.
Both the Reds and Pirates made moves prior to the trade deadline to strengthen their teams; Cincinnati bolstered their bullpen with the acquisition of veteran reliever Jonathan Broxton and Pittsburgh added P Wandy Rodriguez, 1B Gaby Sanchez and RF Travis Snider.
The Cardinals were comparatively quiet, only adding middle-of-the-road reliever Edward Mujica to their arsenal of arms in the bullpen.
Without any major improvements to the team, making up a seven-game deficit over two months to take the division doesn't seem likely.
A wild-card bid doesn't look promising either. As the league currently stands, the Cards are third in the N.L. wild-card chase, four games behind Pittsburgh and Atlanta. While they missed out on prize Ryan Dempster, Atlanta still managed to add RP Paul Maholm and OF Reed Johnson before the deadline.
To worsen the Cardinals' outlook, nipping at their heels in the wild-card race are the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team that made some of the biggest moves of the last couple weeks, adding IF Hanley Ramirez and OF Shane Victorino. It isn't too often a team is able to add two former All-Stars to their lineup in one week, and these acquisitions might be enough to leap over the Red Birds and even land them in the playoffs.
Simply put, the Cardinals' lack of deadline moves might sink them in the pennant race against several recently improved teams.