Seriously, what do you call it?
The Cardinals won their divison and they became ‘Division Champs.’
When the Cardinals when against the Mets, they will be ‘League Champs.’
And of course when they beat the Tigers or A’s, they will be WORLD SERIES CHAMPS.
So what are you when you when the Division Series? Division Champs is already taken, so what’s left?
Regardless, of what it’s called, we’re it and we’re there. What an amazing ballgame. Things were pretty hairy in that first inning although it could have been a whole lot worse. Carpenter managed to limit them to 2 runs instead of letting the Padres open a floodgate of runs.
Once he had his bad inning out of him, I knew it would smooth sailing from then on as far as he was concerned. But I began to get really worried that the offense wouldn’t come through and we would end up losing 2-1, or something equally ridiculous, and have to end up playing in San Diego tomorrow.
But alas, the Redbirds came through. It was HUGE that they came back right away in the first inning. I think that if they hadn’t scored then, something would have been hanging over them mentally that would have made it hard for them to score again. Instead, they matched the Padres with two runs of their own and never looked back.
Carpenter and Padres starter Woody Williams then matched each other inning for inning. Finally, in the 6th, it all broke loose. The Cardinals offense racked up four runs, on a few hits, an error, a squeeze bunt, you name it. And that’s all they would need. 6-2 was the final as again, the Cardinals bullpen looked just as good as they have all postseason. Johnson, Kinney and Wainwright might be young, but they have been absolutely lights out and at this point, I would trust any game on the line in Wainwright’s hands.
But, here is the strange thing about all of this. And I’m sure most people will think I am crazy for saying this, but I am wondering if any Cardinal fans out there agree with me. I feel that this is the best we have ever played in postseason in the last few years, YET I feel this is the hardest we’ve had to work to be there.
Does that make sense? Is that even possible? If we’re having to work that much harder, then why are we playing so well? Because I really feel that we are. So much has been clicking lately, even in the game we dropped to the Padres. I feel that this year’s team has a better chance of making the WS than last year’s team. But that’s strange, considering this team had to use 4 games to get past the Padres in divisional play, but last year we were able to do it in 3.
So, I’m curious for feedback on that point.
In other news, I’m winning our little ‘pick the postseason’ game at work. I accomplished this by completely failing the ALDS games (I picked the Yankees and the Twins….I’m still shocked that Santana lost, enabling the As to sweep.) and by completely nailing the NLDS. In the NL, I indeed picked the Cards to win in 4 and the Mets to win in 3. So, let’s hope that my NL predictions still hold true. For the next round, I picked the Yankees in the AL, which clearly doesn’t matter, and I picked the Cardinals in the NL to take it in 7. We shall see.
That was just a fun game and it was really fun to see the guys really get to celebrate. A win is a win, but it was much more fun winning it on the field than by Houston losing. And it was great to see Carp pacing back and forth the last few innings until that final out when he got to run out to his teammates, arms outstretched.
One last thing: how about Ronnie Belliard? This guy has kicked it into gear in a huge way for us lately. I talked before about his defense and how his offense has been picking up. Having him going is key, because it gives us a valid threat up and down our lineup. It reminds me of 2004 when pitchers would pitch around Pujols, Rolen and Edmonds only to have to face someone like Reggie Sanders. Belliard makes it impossible to pitch around these guys all day long. Encarnacion came up big too, to drive in what would be the game winner after Williams walked Albert.
Well, all is well and it’s a great time of year to be a Cardinals fan. Maybe going in this year as the "heavy underdog" as the announcers put it is what we need.
We’re down to 8 games away until we get to Party like it’s 1982,