As Mike Matheny and the Cards seem to be backing into the playoffs, they are far closer to emulating their flawed 2006 team rather than last year's squad that became one of the most astounding stories in baseball history.
However, deposed All-Star pitcher Lance Lynn may have righted his second half—as well as the Cards' playoff aspirations—with a sturdy six-inning performance in Los Angeles on Thursday evening against the Dodgers, as the Cardinals held on for a 2-1 win.
After sitting on 13 wins since July 27, Lynn has now chalked up two W's in his last two outings.
Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs, and Jason Motte did what they have done throughout the second half by knocking out the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to secure the win.
The Cards did their best to lose the game, of course, by leaving 11 runners stranded with the skittish Matheny employing too many bunt attempts and the team defense giving away another error.
With all their second-half turmoil, the Cardinals still control their own fate and are currently sitting two games up for the final wild card playoff spot with 18 games left to play.
Here are five reasons why the Cards will make the playoffs in 2012.