The St. Louis Cardinals don't want to admit it, but winning their ninth NL Central title may not be in the cards this season.
That's what happens when the top team in baseball, the Cincinnati Reds, plays in your division.
The Reds boast a league-best 66-43 record, including a 20-5 mark since the All-Star break.
During that stretch, the Redbirds have found catching up games in the division to be nearly as difficult as catching Usain Bolt in a foot race.
Nevertheless, a team that found themselves 10 games back from the Atlanta Braves on August 27th last season before going on to win the World Series, is not going to give up.
The Cardinals currently sit only 2.5 games back from a wild card spot, trailing the Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates.
While Lance Berkman's nagging knee injury and Chris Carpenter's season-ending surgery have given "Cardinals Nation" cause for concern, there is still hope for the defending champs.
Here are five ways the Cardinals can make the playoffs.