Despite dropping six of their last eight games, the Cardinals still find themselves with one of the National League's best records and in the lead for the NL Wild Card.
Among those losses include two straight to the Cubs, who have earned their first series victory at Busch Stadium since September 2010. The teams conclude their three-game set on Sunday in St. Louis, as the Cardinals look to return to their winning ways.
"I think frustrated probably more than anything else," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his team's mindset. "I see down after a game. I don't see down before. I don't see anything that looks out of the ordinary as we show up here every day, which is a pretty strong statement for our club. They don't let things carry over."
That's mainly because the Cardinals have proven they're a good team throughout the long season, shortstop Daniel Descalso said.
"We've played a lot better than this before," Descalso said. "We'll get it figured out and we'll get it turned around. Just in a little rut right now."
Although the Cardinals have struggled lately, one thing they've been successful at all season has been hitting with runners in scoring position. The Cubs have struggled in such situations all year (.224), but especially so on their current road trip (.204) -- including 0-for-6 on Saturday until big hits by Darwin Barney and Dioner Navarro in the eighth.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the Cardinals understand that the key to executing in such situations is not worrying about getting the big knock. Instead, the focus is on stringing together hits.
That's something the Cardinals have made look easy. Not so for the Cubs.
"You can make it hard. If you make it any harder than any other situation, it becomes hard," Sveum said."The biggest thing, especially with young hitters, is people get on base with men in scoring position, and the light starts flashing for two-run homers and three-run homers instead of just keeping the line moving with singles and doubles in the gaps, or doubles down the opposite-field line."
Cubs: Jackson looks to rebound
Edwin Jackson takes the mound in Sunday's finale hoping to pitch more like he did in July rather than in his last outing. The right-hander turned in a rough performance last time out, allowing seven runs on 10 hits against the Phillies after posting a 1.83 ERA in five July starts.
Jackson is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts against St. Louis this season.
• Catcher Welington Castillo is hitting .421 with three doubles, two home runs and six RBIs in his last 14 games. He's also drawn 10 walks compared to only six strikeouts.
• Half (52) of Anthony Rizzo's 104 hits have gone for extra bases.
Cardinals: Kelly looks to continue stretch
Sunday starter Joe Kelly has impressed since sliding into the Cardinals rotation, allowing only two runs in his last four starts (23 innings). He has a 1.51 ERA since June 1 and earned his first victory of the season against the Cubs on July 12 by tossing 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
• Center fielder Jon Jay has 15 hits in August, following 23 in July -- his most in a calendar month this season. Jay has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games, with multihit efforts in four of his last eight.
• St. Louis' Matt Holliday has an eight-game hitting streak (.444).
• The Cubs have dropped nine of their last 13.