By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — On the morning of the trade deadline in late July, the St. Louis Cardinals were a .500 team sitting 7 1/2 games outside a playoff spot. Their next move? Trading for a pair of struggling starting pitchers in their late 30s: Jon Lester and J.A. Happ. That raised a lot of eyebrows, to put it mildly. But seven weeks later, look how high these Cardinals have climbed. Riding a top-notch defense and the ageless arm of 40-year-old Adam Wainwright atop a graybeard rotation, St. Louis has soared into postseason position with its recent surge. The confident Cardinals hold the second NL wild card by one game over San Diego heading into a pivotal series against the Padres this weekend.