7-5. Top of the ninth. Down to their last out. The St. Louis Cardinals are no stranger to this scenario, as this is the exact same situation they were in a year ago in game six of the World Series. They triumphed then, and last night, the defending World Champions proved why you should never ever count the Cardinals out.
I watched that entire game decked out in full Cardinals gear, screaming at the TV when Washington was up 6-0, and then watched in disbelief as the Birds slowly chipped and clawed away at the score. 6-1. 6-2, and so on. Suddenly it was the top of the seventh and the Cardinals were only down by 1 run. But then Kurt Suzuki’s RBI to make the score 7-5. And suddenly it was the top of the ninth with 2 outs. It looks like the Bird’s season is over. But, just as before, something magical happens with this team in October. Daniel Descalo’s two run single that glanced off the glove of shortstop Ian Desmond ties the game up. Next up at bat is rookie Pete Kozma. And just like David Freese the year before him, he steps up big for his team. Kozma has a two-run single to put the Cardinals up 9-7 and lead for the first time the entire game. Jason Motte comes in to close and the Cardinals head to the NLCS to go head to head with the San Francisco Giants.
People can talk all they want, but the Cardinals thrive when they are the underdogs. Every year they have won the World Series, it has been St. Louis’s worst year statistically. It happened in 2006, 2011, and it could happen again. Every time you tell them that they can’t do it, that they won’t do it, the Cardinals will do their best to prove you wrong. So continue doubting the Cardinals. You are just fueling their fire to win.