|The St. Louis Cardinal’s Miracle Run
At the beginning of September, no one would have guessed that the St. Louis Cardinals would be playing in the World Series, let alone making the playoffs. Their season was plagued with injuries and distractions. Before the spring season officially started, the Cardinals lost their best pitcher, Adam Wainwright. Throughout the season, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkmann, Albert Pujols, and David Freese missed games due to injuries. In the middle of the season, an internal distraction lead to a controversy. Center Fielder, Colby Rasmus, and Manager, Tony LaRussa, had disagreements on the amount of playing time he was receiving. Just a few weeks later, Colby Rasmus was traded to the Blue Jays and the Cardinals acquired pitchers, Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, and Mark Rechniepzci, and fielder, Corey Patterson. The Cardinals went on a hot streak soon after and were able to surprise everybody.
At the beginning of September, the Cardinals were thought to be out of playoff contention, 8 ½ games behind the Atlanta Braves for the Wild Card playoff berth. After a hot September and a cold September for the Atlanta Braves, the Cardinals were tied with Atlanta on the last day of the regular season. The Cardinals beat the Astros 7-0 and waited for the Phillies and Atlanta game. Couple hours later, the Phillies beat the Braves in extra innings and sent the Cardinals into the playoffs. Their first playoff series was against the Philadelphia Phillies.
During the first round of playoffs, the thought was that the Philadelphia Phillies would sweep the Cardinals in 3 games. It did not help that the first two games were going to be played at Philadelphia because the Phillies had the better record. After the first game, the Phillies were up 1 game after defeating the Cardinals 11-6. The predictions were looking correct. Game 2 was a different story in which the Cardinals defeated the Phillies 5-4. The sweep predictions went down the drain. For game 3 and 4, the series moved to STL. After Game 3, the Cardinals were down 2 games to 1 after the Phillies defeated the Cardinals 3-2. The expectations that the Cardinals would win back to back games against the league’s best team were very slim. Somehow, the Cardinals pulled out game 4 to win 5-3. Then the series moved back to Philly for game 5. This is considered one of the most exciting games this far into the postseason. Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay, 2 friends and great pitchers, faced each other. Halladay gave up one run in the first inning, and that run was enough as the Cardinals won the game 1-0 to head onto the NLCS.
Even though the Cardinals defeated the Phillies, no one predicted the Cardinals to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers had the best home record in the MLB this year, and once again, the series started in Milwaukee because the Brewers had a better record than the Cardinals and the best home record in the MLB. After the first two games, the series was split 1-1. The series then moved to St. Louis for 3 games. While in the series was in St. Louis the Cardinals won game 3, Milwaukee won game 4, and Cardinals won game 5. The series would then head back to Milwaukee for game 6 with the Cardinals leading 3 games to 2. Again no one expected the Cardinals to beat the Brewers at home and end the series in 6 games. Once again, the Cardinal exceeded all expectations and defeated the Brewers in game 6 by the score of 12-6. The Cards were headed to the World Series.
After defeating odds 3 times, most would believe that the expectations would be in the favor of the Cardinals. The analysts however did not believe the Cardinals would not be able to win the World Series. Many analysts believed that the Rangers would win in 6 games. Currently, the game 1 has been played and the Cardinals took game one 3-2. As the series goes on, we will see if the Cardinals can continue to defy all odds.