After all of the troubles the 2020 St. Louis Cardinals have been through, they have secured a spot in the playoffs with their win on Sunday.
There was a time this year that many people thought there wouldn’t be St. Louis Cardinals baseball at all. During the league shut down, there was a lot of pessimism about what the 2020 season would look like. The weeks and weeks of negotiations soured the season for many fans.
Even when the season did finally start, the Cardinals were derailed after just five games with an outbreak of COVID-19. A week after the first positive test, more positives delayed the team further. This was really the low point of the season, causing many fans to continue to call for the Cardinals’ season to be shut down.
Low and behold, the Cardinals finally got back on the field on August 15th after 17 days off. Since then, they have played 53 games in just 43 days only by playing 11 doubleheaders. Fifty. Three. Games.
Getting through this schedule alone was a feat by itself, but now the St. Louis Cardinals have finished two games above .500 (30-28), securing the second spot in the NL Central after owning the tiebreaker against the Reds.
The offense was an anchor at times, Dylan Carlson has arrived, and we have seen many other players make their debut. In a terribly weird year, the Cardinals’ season was similar to 2019. The same issues were still there, but they still found a way to win, found a way to make it into the postseason.
Sunday’s win caps off their 13th-straight season of being above .500 and secured their ticket to San Diego for the Wild Card Round of the playoffs as the 5th seed in the National League.
No matter how things go from here, the Cardinals deserve credit for being in the spot that they are in. It would’ve been very easy for them to give up, to just lull their way through, to give up. That wouldn’t do. As flawed as this team has appeared this year, we will never know how much this schedule affected them.
As much fun as it would’ve been to have one more doubleheader on Monday for old times sake, I think the Cardinals are going to enjoy the heck out of two games off. We can play Detroit another day.
For now, let’s not scream and whine about the offense, let’s just be happy that our hometown Cardinals made the playoffs in a year where it would’ve been so easy for them to give up.
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For the next two days, we will have plenty of time to dig into the postseason matchup against the Padres. It’s going to be a lot of fun, but right off the bat, the Cardinals are sure to have their hands full with Slam Diego.