The Cardinals have won five in a row and come into the day just 4.5 games back of the Braves for the NL Wildcard, making things unexpectedly interesting in the season's final weeks. Let's round up the latest from St. Louis…
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirms the report of Chris Carpenter's two-year extension, and he likes the deal for both sides (Twitter links). The team saves some cash while Carpenter gets more guaranteed money.
- With Carpenter locked up and Adam Wainwright on his way back from Tommy John surgery, the Cardinals' 2012 rotation looks pretty strong, writes Roger Hensley of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Those two will join Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia.
- GM John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he wants to use the final weeks of the regular season and the first few weeks of October "to lock-in existing free agents and clear up any questions for 2012," beyond Albert Pujols. There are ongoing talks with Rafael Furcal's representatives, and Lance Berkman has already given the team a sense of what it would take for him to return next year.