I had stopped blogging about my beloved Cardinals, because it was just too painful. A team that had been lighting it up in early summer tanked during a 4-13 stretch, then played just over .500 since the All-Star break. It was a shame, given the talent available, and the team’s habit of starting fast and fading in the second half of the season over the last six years has become enormously frustrating. A month ago, the Cardinals seemed irrelevant to any conversations about the post-season, but they have suddenly come to life. In six games with the division-leading Brewers, they won five, and a win today sweeps the Braves, putting the Cardinals only 4 1/2 games out of the wild card spot. If the Phils keep pummeling the Brewers, the Redbirds could be only 5 games out of first place.
It’s all still a long shot, but many of us remember the legendary season of 1964, when the Cardinals were 6 1/2 games out of first place on September 21st, then proceeded to sweep the Pirates and the Phillies, whose equally legendary collapse that season remains part of baseball lore, and win the pennant on the last day of the season. I still remember listening to that game.
So, the odds are long, but it cheers me, today on my 60th birthday, to think this team is at least making a run for it.
UPDATE – Cards win, 6-3, sweep the Braves. Brewers come from behind to nip the Phils, 3-2, so the Redbirds are 6 games off the division lead and 4 1/2 games off the Wild Card.