ELIAS SAYS ...
• Only three teams in major-league history reached the postseason despite losing as many as 28 of their last 50 regular-season games: the 1976 Royals, who lost the ALCS to the Yankees, and the Cardinals and Tigers this season. The Cardinals had the worst record in the NL Central from July 23 to the end of the season (28-37); the Tigers had the worst in the AL Central from Aug. 2 to the end of the season (24-32).
• The Padres failed to score in Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Cardinals after plating two runs in the top of the first, fueled by an uncharacteristic wild spell by Chris Carpenter. Carpenter walked three batters the inning, including a bases-loaded pass to Russell Branyan. Since debuting for the Cardinals in 2004, Carpenter hadn't issued as many as three walks in the first inning (93 regular-season starts) or walked a batter with the bases loaded (34 batters faced with the bases full).
• David Eckstein drove in the Cardinals' fifth run with a squeeze bunt in the sixth inning. Eckstein also executed a squeeze bunt against the Padres in Game 2 of the 2005 NLDS. No other player since 1930 has had more than one RBI sacrifice bunt in postseason play.
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