Up until now I have written about stuff that has happened in the past, but this 2011 St. Louis Cardinals story was something that is just incredible to anyone outside of Boston, Tampa Bay, or ESPN.
The Cardinals game back from an 8.5 game over the Atlanta Braves to win the Wild Card. Tampa Bay came back from a 9 game lead to beat Boston. So everyone is talking about that, especially those involved with Bristol.
If you listened to the experts at or around Labor Day, the Cardinals were out of it and the Rays still had an outside chance. Many of my friends gave up on the Cardinals. I never did. I will admit to having some doubt in my mind, but I can honestly say, I never gave up on the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the last couple of weeks, the Braves showed that they didn’t have the passion of a team that wanted to make the playoffs. Look at the last game of the season. There was what, 8,000 people left at the end of the game. I commented to my buddy during the game that I can’t believe how quiet it was in their home stadium. Braves fans have shown that they don’t even sell out playoff games. I believe that this was one of the many reasons that the Braves collapsed in the last few weeks of the season. Would you want to fight and dig deep if you knew that the fans don’t fully support you by filling your stadium and cheering loudly?
So here comes the Phillies. Most of the national ‘experts’ don’t give the Cardinals a chance to win the Division Series. During the regular season the Cardinals beat the Phillies 6 games to 3. The head to head season matchup numbers show the Cardinals out pitching and hitting the Phillies. That says to me that the Cardinals should win 3-1. Will they? I don’t know, but my heart is rooting hard for my Cardinals. I do believe that whoever wins this series will represent the National League in the World Series against the Justin Verlander and the Tigers. If Verlander shows up this postseason, watch out. He may even price himself out of Detroit in the future and will probably end up injured and playing for the Red Sox or Yankees in a few years.
During this chaotic run, many things have emerged. Albert Pujols found his stroke, the Cardinals develop a bullpen hierarchy, and they discovered an inspiration in Torty. No clue who Torty is? Follow him on twitter, @tortycraig, you will not regret it and you will laugh hysterically.
The Cardinals playoff train is coming and they are ready to be underdogs to the rest of the nation; but they are number one in the hearts of all of us in Cardinals Nation.