#1 - Not going deep into October with Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina
This one stings the most. After a magical season from Albert Pujols and one last ride with their catcher of almost two decades, the Cardinals were well on their way to a 1-0 series lead over the Philadelphia Phillies going into the 9th inning.
Then came the collapse. And then the shutout in Game 2. It's like all of the magic in the Cardinals' 2022 season was zapped from them once Ryan Helsley lost his feel in the 9th inning.
Who knows what would have happened if the Cardinals had closed out Game 1? They had a 96.4% chance to win the game after getting the first out in the 9th, and I would have liked their chances to take one of the next two games against the eventual National League Champions. The Braves were handled in four games by the Phillies and then Philadelphia took care of the Padres in five games. Maybe the Cardinals have similar magic and make their own run in the postseason.
Even if the Cardinals had been eliminated in the NLDS, heck even if they just had not been swept in the Wild Card Series, it would have felt like more of a fight for their two outgoing legends. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and instead, we were left with a bitter taste in our mouths as Cardinals fans.