Houston, TX – The Cardinals did their part to get into the 0 win over Houston on Wednesday. Now they have to wait.
St. Louis had erased a 10 1/2-game deficit for the NL wild card and coming into Wednesday's contest was even with the Atlanta Braves for the final playoff spot in the National League.
Now, the team has to await the outcome of the Phillies/Braves game, which is currently in extra innings.
Should the Braves manage to win, it will force a one-game playoff on Thursday in St. Louis. If the Braves lose, the Cardinals will be in the postseason and will play in Philadelphia on Saturday.
Chris Carpenter (11-9) threw his second shutout of the season as he gave up just two hits and a walk with a season-high 11 strikeouts.
"You just concern yourself with playing and next thing you know you turn around and you're right up there," said Carpenter about St. Louis' postseason push. "We have guys in this clubhouse that know what needs to be done and we've all done it here."
Brett Myers (7-14) was pounded for seven runs -- six earned -- on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts over five innings for the Astros (56-106), who completed their worst season ever.
The Cardinals did most of their damage in the first inning as the first five batters had hits with singles from Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman each scoring a run while Freese doubled home Pujols. After a groundout, Schumaker brought home Berkman with an infield hit and Nick Punto followed with a single to left for a 5-0 lead.
Carpenter helped his cause in the third with an RBI single for a 6-0 lead.
Schumaker brought home Freese with a groundout in the fifth.
Carpenter set down the first 10 batters he faced before a single from Jose Altuve with one out in the fourth.
Houston's only threat in the game came in the sixth with a single from J.B. Shuck and a walk from Altuve with two outs. J.D. Martinez then grounded out to end the frame.
Allen Craig homered in the ninth off Lance Pendleton.
St. Louis won 10 of the 15 games against the Astros this season...The Cardinals went 45-36 on the road this season...Houston went just 31-50 at home this season...Carpenter won his final three decisions of the season and improved to 8-5 in 19 games against the Astros...Myers had won his previous four starts. He dropped to 6-6 in 20 games against the Cards.