Just…. just wow.
The St. Louis Cardinals are back in the playoffs!!!!
Now, that’s usually nothing new. But when you take into account the circumstances this season, it’s an unheralded moment. In his 17th season, the ageless ace Adam Wainwright notched his 17th win on the night of the 17th consecutive victory of the Cardinals’ franchise-record streak. Also of note: the Cardinals’ winning streak is the longest in the history of the National League in 70 years; on top of that, not since 1935 has a team had this long of a winning streak this late in a season.
“There’s no reason to stop now,” Wainwright said.
It’s the postseason for the third consecutive fall and for the 11th time in Wainwright’s career. He’s looking to add a third World Series title to his resume as well.
At the trade deadline two months ago, when the Cardinals acquired J.A. Happ and Jon Lester, people laughed. They thought the front office gave up, and it was packed up until next season. They were four games under .500 and fourth place in the National League Central.
But Nolan Arenado, Tyler O’Neill, and Paul Goldschmidt started heating up. Harrison Bader returned and began playing like the gold glove centerfielder he can be. Edmundo Sosa provided unexpected sparks, and Yadier Molina remained the definitive leader behind the plate.
The Cardinals proved what they have proved many times before: it’s all about when you get hot.
And they got hot at the perfect time.
For the first time since 2004, three Cardinals hit more than 30 home runs in a season (Arenado, Goldschmidt and O’Neill). The pitching has been lights out the past two weeks, and despite some close calls at the end of games, St. Louis finds a way to pull out the win.
17 wins (and possibly counting) in a row has the Cardinals back into the postseason dance, where a Wild Card date with most likely the Los Angeles Dodgers awaits.
There’s not much to say…. but there’s a lot of baseball left to play.
Buckle up, Cardinal fans. We’re heading back to the playoffs.