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Can the Cardinals Repeat?

October 11, 2012

Baseball, Features, User Submissions

As I write this article the Cardinals and the Nationals are tied at two games  headed for a game 5 and I have one question for you. Does anyone believe that the Cardinals won’t come through and win game 5?

Every year for the past few years the Cardinals have been a team that analysts put on the edge of the post season and more times than not they tend to prove them wrong.

Last year for example the Cardinals put on one of the greatest comebacks baseball has ever seen. On August 24th 2011 the Atlanta Braves had a 10.5 game lead in the wild card (the Cards trailed the Brewers and the Braves trailed the Phillies) and in their final series of the year they beat the Astros 2 out of 3 games while the Braves were swept by the Phillies completing one of the biggest collapses in Baseball history.

As improbable as it was for the Cardinals to earn the NL wildcard and as hot as they were coming into the playoffs I don’t know anybody including myself who thought they stood a chance against the Phillies in the NLDS but yet again, the redbirds would show us what’s what.

The Cardinals would beat the Phillies who most regarded as the best team in baseball maybe only 2nd to the Rangers in a series that included a 5 run come from behind win vs. Cliff Lee, An amazing performance by Chris Carpenter in a 1-0 shut- out in game 5 and of course the ever popular Rally squirrel that was adopted as a kind of mascot by fans. Again the score? Cards 2, everyone else 0.

Next surprise? The NLCS surely the Milwaukee Brewers who topped the Cards by 6 games in the NL Central could handle their division rivals, after all they have MVP Ryan Braun and super slugger Prince Fielder who were maybe the best duo in the league last year (Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez were pretty darn good too) and with Gallardo and Grienke on the mound they should have no problem right?

Wrong, see the Cards have this guy named David Freese who to be honest I had never heard of before last year’s NLCS. Freese defined ”Beast Mode” for Brewers fans hitting 3 homeruns during the series and winning the NLCS MVP the Cards won in 6 games but it really wasn’t as close as it sounds the Cards won 3 games in the series by 6 or more runs.

Now that they won the NL pennant you would think they would get some respect right? Surely after knocking off the Brew Crew they would be favorites? Nope, you see the Rangers were coming off a very depressing (I’m a Tiger fan) 15-5 beat down of the Detroit Tigers. Their bullpen had allowed next to nothing in the past 3 games and Nelson Cruz was playing Babe Ruth baseball hitting 6 dingers in the series (yeah I called him every word in the book last year).

Last year’s World Series was by far my favorite since watching the Luis Gonzales walk off single in Arizona against the Yankees in 2001 (or the Evil Empire as the rest of the world knows them) the Cardinals played great baseball right up until the end Pujols was great, Carpenter and Wainright were great and most importantly David Freese was captain clutch with his triple in game 6 to keep the Cards alive.

So where does that put the Cards this year? They lost Pujols to that monster contract in LA but unexpectedly Yadier Molina has stepped up and hit .315 and new acquisition Carlos Beltran has helped fill the power hole left by Pujols with 32 homeruns not to mention what Matt Holliday is doing this year.  The Cards have the bats to win this postseason and the pitching with Carpenter, Lohse, Lynn and Wainwrighte has so much potential to be dominant. The Redbirds just make it so hard to bet against them.  If the Cards advance like I predict they will they easily outmatch the Giants offensively and can go toe to toe on the mound as well. You wanted exciting playoff baseball? Well this years post season has certainly delivered thus far.

The Cardinals will go to the World Series this year and I think it will be against the Tigers. I for one am looking forward to the potential 2006 World Series rematch.

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