Fine Ladies and Wise Gents,
We have officially entered do or die territory in Cardinal Nation. The theory no longer applies. The reality is alive and well. The Cardinals control their fate this week in Texas. The idea is that we have 3 games to decide our fate in Houston. The Cards defy the normal thought of momentum. When we seem to be running on 4 legs, a brutal loss halts us in our tracks. Momentum is poison to this Cards team. What can a fan do? Stop predicting, hoping and praying. Just watch and see. The odds are in our favor, but does that mean anything at this point? The Cards are facing the worst team in the major leagues and the Braves are facing the best team in baseball, according to record. In Vegas, we are looking good. In reality,we are ordinary contenders. Will the team fall victim or become the predator?
Before you calculate the odds, realize how far this team has come. A month ago, we were 10.5 games behind the Brewers and Atlanta. Hopeless bitches without a chance. Today, we are a game behind the Braves and looking dangerous to a first round opponent. Once this team lost Waino’s 20 wins and Carp and Albert took first half naps, this team was toast. If you need to see how a team is doing, look at the table setters. Carp went 9-2 in the second half and Albert hit .360. Both recaptured their dominance and helped this team get right. There were smaller contributors but these two led the way. We were picked to finish 4th in the NL Central. We’ll finish 2nd to a bionic Brewers team and no worse than 14 games over .500. The Cardinals didn’t piss excellence until September, but this week everything is up for grabs and its fittingly ambitious for a team that couldn’t decide if they were good, bad or ugly.
We can look back on missed opportunities like a tourist scanning a field of dead bodies.
-25 blown saves
-166 double plays hit into
-Horrible defensive lapses
-Thursday brutal collapse
Gentlemen and ladies, I’m all in. I’m a true diehard fan and I never left the team. I cut my arm open a long time ago and started bleeding next to this team. I didn’t jump ship like most(I’m talking to you, season ticket holders in late August) and are now scrambling back. Whether I like it or not, I am strapped to this bomb.
Tonight, we face Wandy Rodriguez, the pesky lefty who shut us down in July but is a vulnerable starter playing with a AAA offense behind him. My questions are simple..
-Will the mentally unstable Jaime Garcia be able to pull off the start of a lifetime? This is his first true playoff atmosphere test. Will he sink or swim?
-Will Pujols reach 40 HR and 100 RBI and stay above .300? Forget the pending free agency. He has 3 or more games left this season. Advice to local media. Stop asking him about it. The man is a machine and needs to focus.
-Will Tony La Russa micromanage, overanalyze and wreck this team ship? That’s my biggest fear. La Russa mismanaging the bullpen is a huge X factor here.
Remember, folks. One game at a time. There are people asking me about Thursdays one game playoff. We have to survive first. One game at a time. The Cards are built to disappoint but aren’t going down without a fight. Wait and see my friends.
How am I treating my pregame wounds? A 20 ounce starbucks iced coffee with an extra shot of espresso. Bold, black and strong like Oprah. A Gunpowder blend of coffee.
That’s all. Thanks for playing. The season is almost over. Will October matter to the Cards? We need this. The Rams are playing like lifeless cardboard impersonators and the Blues are an entertaining if uncertain bunch.
As a sports town, we need a comeback.