ST. LOUIS -- Acknowledging a growing deficit in the standings, the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals know they can control the outcome of a Cincinnati Reds game just six more times the rest of the season.
So instead they plan on trying to focus on themselves.
With the division-leading Reds off to an unthinkable 18-3 record since the All-Star break and now holders of an eight-game lead over them in the National League Central, the Cardinals know it won't matter what other teams do if they can't start stringing wins together themselves.
And they did just that Friday, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 9-3 at Busch Stadium behind three hits from Yadier Molina and two hits each from Allen Craig, Matt Holliday and Dan Descalso.
"You can't be oblivious and say that you don't notice it at all but you truly try to," said manager Mike Matheny. "In here we control what we do and we have to play better, that's all there is to it. These guys know that. It's not a secret, but ...