Let's call it 3.
The Cardinals play 10 games in 10 days and need to make up 3 games to force a 1 game playoff against the Atlanta Braves for the NL Wild Card. If the Braves go 7-3 during that time, then the Cardinals need a 10 game winning streak.
But the Braves are slumping right?
So let's put them at 4-6 in their last 10. The Cardinals still need to go 7-3 to make up that ground. Not impossible, considering that they'll close out with the Mets, Cubs and Astros (all big time losers in 2011, and in the Cubs' case... forever) BUUUUUTTT - the Braves are playing the dregs of the NL, sans the Phillies to close out the regular season. The Phillies seem to already be in coast mode.
We've got to put the worst case scenario for the Braves at 6-4. Meaning the Cardinals can lose 1 more game the remainder of 2011.
I know that "3" doesn't look terribly daunting on it's surface. But it's Everest when only 10 games remain. I think just because the Cardinals have had their way with the Braves over the past decade that we automatically think this is, if not probable, at least possible. But when you look at that "1" it seems like a taller order than originally you thought.
Oh, and Roy Halladay is hurling for the Phillies tonight.
I'm rooting like hell for the Cardinals to win and somehow get into the playoffs after a pretty insane season.
Yet, math, like it's always done for me - comes in and ruins everything.