t series win Thursday night Matt Williams Jersey , manager Mike Shildt explained it simply.“You win series, you’re going to win the Series,” he said.While St. Louis is two months away from that goal, it continues to march toward the postseason. With its 5-0 blanking of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it remained atop the National League wild-card race and stayed within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.Article continues below ...The Cardinals, whose 21 wins in August are their most in a month since August of 2004, will try for a 22nd victory to end the month Friday night when they open a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds in Busch Stadium.“It’s just the byproduct of daily consistency and focus,” Shildt said. “You’re seeing guys with a competitive spirit and they’re bringing it every day. It’s clearly not easy to win games, but the guys are committed on a daily basis.”At 75-59, St. Louis is 28-13 under Shildt. His first game was July 15 http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , a 6-4 win over Cincinnati, and the last series it lost under his command was in late July against the Reds.Those Reds were playing good baseball at the time, winning against good teams and making a case for interim manager Jim Riggleman to become the permanent skipper. These Reds have regressed to what’s been a five-season mean, falling back to 20 games under .500 Thursday with a 2-1, 11-inning loss to Milwaukee.Not even the activation of All-Star first baseman Joey Votto from the 10-day disabled list could enable Cincinnati (57-77) to turn things around. It has lost eight of the last 10 games as a familiar problem has cropped up. The Reds have allowed 67 runs in that span.If recent and career-long trends hold true, Friday night probably won’t launch a turnaround for Cincinnati. Veteran right-hander Homer Bailey (1-12, 6.17 ERA) will start the series opener, which should excite Cardinal fans and their hitters.Bailey is coming off a 9-0 loss Sunday at the Cubs, permitting eight hits and six runs, three earned Willie Mays Jersey , over five innings. The Reds have lost 17 of his 18 starts this year, including nine in a row, dating back to his 5-3 win on May 12 at the Los Angeles Dodgers.Bailey is 0-1 with two no-decisions in three outings against St. Louis this year, logging a respectable earned run average of less than 4.00. But in his career, Bailey is 6-14 with a 5.57 ERA in 26 starts, throwing 22 home run balls in just 140 2/3 innings.The Cardinals counter with rookie left-hander Austin Gomber (4-0, 2.79), who has permitted only four runs in his last four starts, covering 22 innings. Gomber checked Colorado on five hits and two runs over six innings Sunday in a 12-3 romp at Coors Field, walking one and whiffing six.In his first career start on July 24 http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , Gomber took a no-hitter into the seventh against the Reds before losing it and ultimately being no-decisioned in a 4-2 St. Louis win. PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steve Blass’ 60th season with the Pittsburgh Pirates will be his last in the broadcast booth.The former pitcher announced Tuesday that 2019 will be his 34th and final year as a color analyst. He will step away as the longest-tenured broadcaster in team history. Blass will remain with the club as an alumni ambassador.The 76-year-old Blass joined the organization after signing a professional contract with the club’s affiliate in the Appalachian League in 1960. He made his major league debut with the Pirates in 1964 and spent a decade in the majors, going 103-76 with a 3.63 ERA in 282 appearances. The defining moment of his playing career came in the 1971 World Series when he pitched a four-hitter in Game 7 against Baltimore to lead Pittsburgh to a 2-1 win and the title.“Sixty seasons with the Pirates, one organization in one city, I am so very proud of that. It ranks right up there with anything I have ever done on the baseball field,” Blass said in a statement. “It has been a wonderful run.”Blass retired in 1975 after a baffling loss of control that became known as “Steve Blass Disease.” He returned to the club as a part-time analyst in 1983 before joining the broadcast team on a full-time basis in 1986. His folksy delivery and penchant for sharing offbeat stories from his playing days became a fixture of broadcasts.“Steve is as synonymous with Pirates baseball as anyone in the history of our organization. Steve leaping up into the air following the final out in his second complete game victory of the 1971 World Series is one of the most iconic moments in Pirates history,” Pirates owner Bob Nutting said in a statement. “For 60 seasons, Steve has represented the Pirates with humility, grace, pride and passion. Words cannot express how appreciative we at the Pirates organization are for his dedication or how beloved he is and always will be.”The team will honor Blass throughout the season and is planning an on-field send-off for Blass before the Pirates host Cincinnati on Sept. 28.