Redbirds in the Black

There are several other teams in the mix – the charging Milwaukee Brewers, the stinkin’ New York Mets, the hard-slugging Philadelphia Phillies – but there’s a chance the National League’s Wild Card slot could fall to either the Marlins or the St. Louis Cardinals. After all, both are teams accustomed to playing well in the playoffs after merely decent seasons: Between them they’ve won three of the past dozen World Series without winning more than 92 games in any of those seasons.

To accomplish such a feat, you have to get hot at the right time. This year, the Marlins fit that bill handily, having won 56 of their first 106 games while being outscored by an astonishing 30 runs. The Cards, on the other hand, sat just two games ahead of the Marlins in that span, despite having a plus-22 differential. Something about those numbers smacks of Wild Card-caliber baseball for Florida – if a team can heat up at the right time of the game, why not at the right time of the season? As they share a spring training stadium, the Cards will be a familiar foe for the Marlins on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami). Tickets start at $9. Buy them at the gate, or reserve through or by calling 954-523-3309.
Tue., Aug. 12, 7 p.m., 2008

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