posted on October 03, 2012 07:23
I don’t want to say, “That’s all that matters,” because the Nationals, Reds, and Giants are more “in” than the Cardinals are.
It’s like how Lexington Steele would be more “in” than I would be.
But, everybody’s in.
And now…it’s on.
Cardinals vs. Braves Friday night.
Kyle Lohse vs. Kris Medlen.
The San Francisco Giants sent the Cardinals into the playoffs on the last day of the season for the second season in a row. This time it took place around 12:30 a.m. instead of around 10:30 p.m., but the Cardinals were once again gathered in their clubhouse---this time at Busch Stadium instead of Houston---and watching the television.
The Dodgers had rallied from a 4-1 deficit to make it 4-3 and had the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth. But…it wasn’t to be.
And once again…the Cardinals are in the playoffs.
Kind of like the way I think many Rams’ fans appreciate what took place around here in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004 more now…I think this absurd run of not just playoff appearances in nine of 13 seasons but being competitive for a playoff spot in all 13 seasons will be looked back upon with some form of awe years from now.
This run really is incredible…and you can’t find too many other cities that have experienced something similar since 2000.
It goes without saying that I want to see the Cardinals get past the Braves for the obvious reason of, well, I just want to see the Cardinals get past the Braves. But, the deeper thought process is that, because I view the 2012 National League Playoff participants as incredibly evenly matched and the field wide open, the Cardinals could really have a shot to defend their World Championship.
That hasn’t happened around these parts since they lost to the Tigers in the 1968 World Series. And it hasn’t happened around baseball since the Yankees beat the Mets in 2000.
It’s incredibly rare…but if the Cardinals can get past the Braves, I’d consider it quite possible.
If the Nationals still had Stephen Strasburg in their rotation, I’d consider them the favorites. As it is, I have no idea who I’d put a large amount of money on to win the National League Pennant if I absolutely had to.
There are no 2011 Phillies, 2009 Cardinals, 2006 Mets, or 2005 Cardinals in this bunch.
Of course…you know what all of those teams had in common? Regular season dominance…that failed to lead to a World Series appearance.
So, once again, here they are in the playoffs.
The Giants not only got them in…they got Adam Wainwright the ball in Game 1 of the NLDS should the Cardinals survive Atlanta Friday night.
That also means they got Adam Wainwright the ball in Game 5 of the NLDS should that series go that far.
If you were still up at 12:30 sweating the idea of a collapse, you probably weren’t thinking that. But, the end goal, of course, isn’t just getting in.
The end goal is #12.
And once again…the Cardinals have a shot at a World Championship.
And iffffffff they get past the Braves, you’re looking at Wainwright and Carpenter pitching at Busch Stadium in Games 1 and 2…no matter who it’s against.
Personally, I’d like to see the Nationals in the first round and then a Cardinals-Reds NLCS.
That would be the ultimate amusement…outside of a Cardinals-Yankees World Series.
I can now fantasize about psychotic rivalries in the NLCS and a meeting of baseball’s traditional powerhouses in the World Series.
Another year and at the very least…one game of playoff playoff baseball.
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