Capping off the most improbable run since…well…probably the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals, the birds came to beat Milwaukee 12-6 in Game 6 for their 18th pennant in team history.
Coming into August ten and a half back from the surging Brewers, the season was looking to some as a rather dismal end to a promising season. We started slow, came on strong, and just seemed to lose our way after the trade deadline. Team GM John Mozeliak made a rather controversial move right at the deadline to send a cancerous center fielder Colby Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays for a bunch of pitching prospects. The fan base was furious and TLR love certainly started falling off for even some of the most dedicated followers with a failing bullpen and the departure of one of our top prospects.
We received a faltering Edwin Jackson, an aging Octavio Dotel, and a relatively unknown Marc Rzepczynski, amongst a few others. Rafael Furcal also came later in a trade with the Dodgers, filling in the SS gap created with Theriot’s performance, unfortunately losing a terrific prospect Alex Castellanos in the process. Almost immediately after the trade, things just got worse and we began the gradual slip seemingly out of contention for a playoff spot. All season long we figured the Wild Card would come from the NL East and there was just nothing you could do about it.
Being ten and a half back, they had to make up the wins in a couple of series against the biggest rivals in the NL just to contend. The Braves also had to do their part and really fell out leaving the door wide open. Come the end of September, it seemed as if no one wanted the final playoff spot between the Cardinals and Braves, but alas the Cardinals came out on top….but you already know that story.
We played the Phillies in round 1, the very team that beat the Braves to open up that very opportunity for us. In the series, we definitely were David to Philadelphia’s Goliath, the seemingly unbeatable rotation destined for the series. The Phillies won a franchise record 102 games but were stopped short thanks to the power of an unlikely emergence of a certain squirrel and in Game 5 thanks to a masterful Chris Carpenter performance leading us to a heated NLCS against this seasons number one enemy Milwaukee Brewers.
"Where still n 1st and I hope those crying birds injoy watching tha Crew in tha Playoffs!!! Aaaaahhhhh!!!@TheRealTPlush….stop on by and show him some love Cards fans!"
The Series started off with heart wrenching Game 1 in Milwaukee before swooping in to smash Game 2 and return back to Busch to take 2 of the next 3 to bring the series back to Miller Park. Just a day after the Rangers clinched their spot in the series, the Cardinals went on to steamroll Game 6 and ensure a Happy Flight back to St. Louis where they now await another juggernaut in the Texas Rangers for the 107th World Series.
Karma struck Nyjer and his Brew Crew, Rangers are next. They are, yet again, major underdogs in the series. That seems to be just the way the Cardinals like it. I may be a little biased on the matter, but watching the Cardinals the last few months honestly makes me feel like they are indeed the team of destiny. Only the happenings over the next two weeks will truly determine just how right on that gut feeling may be.
GO CARDINALS!!! 2011 National League Champs. Cardinal Nation is behind you 100%, go out there and get us trophy #11!
Game 1 is Wednesday from Busch Stadium in St. Louis.