Back To The Big Dance

The St. Louis Cardinals head back to the World Series, again. It’s becoming a familiar stage for Cardinal Nation having been now four times since 2004, and finishing one game short a season ago.

After scoring 12 total runs in the first five games against Los Angeles, the National League’s top offense busted out with nine runs, including seven off Cy Young candidate and LEFT HANDED Clayton Kershaw.

The night started with a strange standoff between Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly and Dodgers reserve outfielder Scott Van Slyke. Kelly finally broke his stance and Van Slyke revved up the visiting dugout. Unfortunately for L.A., it would be their final celebration of 2013 — a stupid standoff. Well, that’s not entirely true. Former Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol garnered a few high-fives after a scoreless two innings — albeit a 9-0 deficit.

For St. Louis, they can celebrate the 19th pennant in franchise history, a true testament of the baseball powerhouse residing in the middle of America.

Injuries to integral parts of a pitching staff left them with crater size unknowns leaving Jupiter, Florida, in April. But a sensational bunch of rookies responded in a big way. A plethora of young power arms named Wacha, Miller, Lynn, Rosenthal, Siegrist, Maness and Martinez helped stabilize a huge question mark.

In fact, call me crazy, because I didn’t think this team had a chance in hell to reach the World Series with their inexperienced arms.

Molina on Michael Wacha’s Progression

The nine-run blowout featured so many heroes. Carlos Beltran had three hits and two RBI’s before adding a stellar diving play robbing Juan Uribe of extra bases. Shane Robinson had a pair of two-out RBI’s in his first career postseason start. Rookie phenom Michael Wacha recorded his 3rd playoff win, allowing no runs on two hits over seven innings. Matt Carpenter worked this 11-pitch at-bat.

Matt Carpenter talks about his memorable 11-pitch AB

Team MVP Yadier Molina will play in his 4th career World Series, and a game after he went 0-for-4 with two double plays, the beloved catcher answered with a 2-for-5 night scoring two runs and driving in another.

It also featured a goat donning the Dodger blue. Immature outfielder Yasiel Puig finished the series hitless in St. Louis — and committed two costly errors in Game 6. It was as if he was still standing motionless over home plate after umpire Ted Barrett rung him up in Game 5. Puig has all the raw talent, but until he starts respecting the game that’s been around long before him, his antics will continue to haunt him.

The Cardinals are back in the World Series hoping for another crack at the Commissioners Trophy against a team who stole one from them in 2004.

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