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Here We Go...

by: Brian F. Logush

A few weeks back, I had a meal I had been dreading for a long time. I never wanted it, but it was forced upon me, and there was nothing I could do to avoid it. I had to eat it, and eat it I did.

I had myself some crow.

How was it, you ask? Well, it was a tad dry, so I added some sweet and sour sauce to it. Didn't really help.

You see, readers of this fine website, it was months back that I wrote off the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, and I had no problem doing so. They were playing some very uninspired baseball, and as the season got deeper and deeper, the more the math validated my rationale. The numbers we all know now. Ten and-a-half back in the Wild Card on August 24. Eight and-a-half back on September 2. Three back with five to play. And they shut down Houston on the final day while Atlanta was on the receiving end of a three-game sweep by the Phillies.

When Carpenter got that final out in Enron, or Minute Maid, or the Juice Box, or whatever the hell they call it now, I was floored. They had a half-game Wild Card lead on the final day. And about thirty minutes later, Atlanta's season, and their seemingly insurmountable lead, ended on a ground out in the 13th inning. It happened. The Cardinals needed to win about 85% of their games, and needed 100% luck and fortune to have a chance. And after the ninth inning devastating loss to New York on August 22and the loss to the Cubs the very next day, it seemed hopeless. But Atlanta seemed more than willing to help us by losing whenever they could, going 10-20 to finish their year.

So the Cardinals were in the playoffs. Not that it was going to be easy. "Congratulations, boys! You played great. As a reward, here's Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, and the rest of the #1 seed Philadelphia Phillies, the team that helped you into the post-season by sweeping those slumping Braves. Cheers!" Are you serious, bro?

So off they went to the city of Brotherly Hate, on the lookout for rogue batteries, snow balls, and random hoosiers running onto the field and getting tasered.* And for a moment, the Cardinals looked to be in control. Then Lohse gave up a few runs, and the lead was gone. But they split in both parks, leading to a win-or-go-home game in Philly. But this team had been playing WOGH games since September began, and Chris Carpenter pitched an absolute gem, capped by Furcal's outstanding defense and ending with Nick Punto not knowing if he should make the final out himself or toss it to Albert.

* I am completely in favor of tasering people who run onto the field of play, regardless of age, gender, race, or socio-economic status. Tase them, show it on the Jumbrotron, replay it on SportsCenter, and print on all tickets that if a patron runs on the field they WILL be tasered, no questions, no hesitations. And the team, building, city, state, etc. are NOT responsible for any injuries sustained. You ran on the field, dumbass. It's your fault. Deal with it.

So the Cardinals rolled into the NLCS against the Brewers. Yes, the Central Division winners. The team with Nyjer Morgan. Or, as his Twitter account is known, T-Plush. The punk that called Albert Pujols "Alberta". The guy who hoped Cards fans enjoyed watching "tha Crew" in the playoffs. Oh yeah, he also threw his chewing tobacco at Carpenter after striking out and saying "[Darn] you," repeatedly at him, and then denying it to the press. So there was extra incentive. And David Freese stepped up to the plate and introduced himself to the nation with a .545 average, three homeruns, nine RBIs, three doubles, seven runs, and local hero folklore, earning himself the NLCS MVP. The Cardinals won in six, touched off by Jason Motte's strikeout of Mark Kotsay to claim their 18th National League Pennant.

And here we sit. October 17, 2011. The Cardinals and the Rangers face off for the trophy. The Rangers ripped through Tampa Bay and Detroit on their path to the World Series, their second consecutive trip. The Cardinals shouldn't even be here, but this team has gotten hot at just the right time, and are poised to take their 11th championship. Buckle your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. It's going to be a real slobberknocker.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, who would have believed it - the Cardinals should never have made it this far but they did us proud!

    ReplyDelete


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