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Allright, just this once…

Thursday, Sep 29, 2011

* A St. Louis Cardinals open thread

Soaked with beer and champagne, Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman embraced in the St. Louis Cardinals plastic-wrapped clubhouse, basking in a celebration no one thought possible less than a month ago.

Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals completed one of baseball’s greatest comebacks on Wednesday night, clinching the NL wild card with an 8-0 win over Houston and a later loss by Atlanta.

The Cardinals got their playoff spot when the Braves fell to Philadelphia 4-3 in 13 innings.

St. Louis trailed Atlanta by 10 1/2 games on Aug. 25, then won 23 of the last 31 games to finish its improbable charge.

“Any time you’re on a playoff team and you make a run like this, you invest a lot of yourself in the season with a great group of guys,” Berkman said. “It just makes it special.

Have at it, redbirds.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 6:27 am:

    Is it true that paperwork was filed with COGFA yesterday to close Wrigley and declare it excess property given that it has outlived it’s stated purpose and is underutilized?

  2. - OneMan - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 6:51 am:

    Have to give them and the Rays mad props on the comebacks.

    Next year North Side, this time for sure

  3. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 7:55 am:

    Now we just need to chew up the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Yankees and it will be another World Series
    Seriously, lets just savor the moment. Thank Berkman for holding up all year and Carpenter for pitching like the old Carp last night.
    Never wrote them off, but we were starting to dip the quill into the ink pot.

  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:08 am:

    –Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals completed one of baseball’s greatest comebacks on Wednesday night,–

    Please, for a wild card?

    The greatest comeback, by the way, was the 1949 New York Yankees, trailed Boston by 14 atthe end of July and won the pennant by one game, beating the Red Sox on the last day of the season, in Boston.

  5. - Nieva - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:15 am:

    We welcome all Cub fans to watch the Cardinals in post season play. Of course they have to watch someone else to enjoy baseball in October!

  6. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:22 am:

    Being a Chicago baseball fan (yes both teams- we can do that here in central Illinois) the season ended for me months ago so I haven’t spent much time following baseball lately. Then I noticed my coworkers who are Cardinal fans had started using the word “we” to describe their team so I new they were making a run. The bandwagon has gotten so heavy now they had to put bigger, heavy duty tires and rims on it to support all the new fans. I am happy for them- at least they get a shot at the World Series every so often. It won’t happen for either of my teams any time soon (probably in my lifetime)…

  7. - amalia - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:31 am:

    Redbirds….Red Sox. for those of us who care about the American League, read Dan Shaughnessy in the Boston Globe today on the epic collapse. info down to what the RSox plane would do! it was a spooky end to the season for the RSox, losing the wild card with Longoria’s homer three minutes after the over $100 million man Carl Crawford could not catch a ball in left. CHOKE. last First Sox game yesterday was nothing too pretty either. Sale with two walks in the 9th, omg…….

  8. - vise77 - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:34 am:

    I must admit: I gave up back in August when, on a Wednesday game I think, the Brewers beat the Cards 5-1. And was I among those wishing Tony to leave.

    I think I’ve come close to about five heart attacks over the past month, but I am soooo glad my baseball spidey sense was sooo off this year. Go Cards! And we have as good as shot as any–perhaps even a better shot–of taking out the Phillies.

    In all seriousness, I’m a Cards fan in Chicago for a long time, and I am glad I am spoiled by a team that has a winning tradition. I feel bad for my Cubs and Sox buddies who are true baseball. Really–no snark.

    God, what a great day!

  9. - Stones - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:37 am:

    Gotta hand it to the Cards and Tampa Bay. They were dead in the water.

  10. - Ray del Camino - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:39 am:

    A little bitter, folks? Down south we’re pretty happy. And yes, the wild card team is just as much in the playoffs as everyone else. And yes, again, Carpenter’s complete-game, two-hit shutout was epic. Epic.

    Thanks for the history lesson, Word. Go buy a red ballcap. It’s fun rooting in October.

  11. - What planet is he from again? - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:42 am:

    I wrote off the Cards back in August, so to say I’m surprised at their comeback is a bit of an understatement. But then you gotta feel for Atlanta…the only difference between their Cub-like collapse and a real Cub-like collapse is the 99+ years of history behind it.

  12. - Ahoy - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:47 am:

    As a Cardinal fan, I’ve never seen a September like this and probably never will again. Unbelievable baby! Now let’s thank the Phillies by beating the pants off them!

  13. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:47 am:

    “Soaked with beer and champagne…”

    It’s LaRussa’s clubhouse, alright.

    Congrats to our feathered rivals.

  14. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 9:12 am:

    One daughter is excited. The other I raised correctly and is not.

  15. - Shemp - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 9:12 am:

    Woo Hoo! And a great night of baseball, perhaps one of the greatest to boot.

  16. - Deep South - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 9:13 am:

    You sure can tell October is almost here. The Cardinals are still playing baseball and the Cubs are not.

    Great game last night….Carpenter was magnificent. It doesn’t get any easier…the Phillies are next.

  17. - Esquire - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 9:30 am:

    Remember when Tony LaRussa worked for the White Sox? Ouch! His departure may have only been exceeded by Joe McCarthy’s dismissal by the Cubs.

  18. - Baines 4 Prez - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 9:56 am:

    Grats to the many Cards fans out there. My policy on IL Cardinals fans has always boiled down to this: Well, at least they aren’t Cub fans. And no, North Siders neither you nor us Sox fans should be talking about next year AT ALL. There’s a big hot mess on both sides of town to clean up before anybody starts getting any hopes up for the near future.

    But again to the Cards fans: was a hell of a comeback you guys pulled off, it seemed like there wasn’t going to be any races down the wire when we entered September…that thought sure got blown out of the water. Good luck in the playoffs.

  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 9:57 am:

    –“Soaked with beer and champagne…”

    It’s LaRussa’s clubhouse, alright.–

    Or his car.

  20. - Mountain Man - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 9:58 am:

    As a Cardinals fan, I’m thrilled. As a baseball fan, I have no words to describe how awesome last night was. Wow.

    Also, to those that diss the wild card….without it, there would have been no drama last night. AND, in the 16 years since it began, 9 wild card teams have been in the World Series and 4 have won it (including the 2004 Red Sox and the Marlins’ only 2 titles). Go Cards!!!

  21. - Stooges - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 10:05 am:

    Cubs fans are pathetic. If the Cubbies had pulled off this comeback they’d be tearing down Wrigleyville. Cards in the playoffs, again.

  22. - Jake From Elwood - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 10:27 am:

    Thanks alot Red Sox. You’re fired until Spring Training. Go Brew Crew.

  23. - cover - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 10:55 am:

    The Cardinals should send a thank-you gift to Carlos Marmol for handing them a win last Saturday. A bottle of Wild Turkey, perhaps?

  24. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 10:56 am:

    As a Cub fan watching the Cards finish the season, the only solution to my angst is to drink heavily and wait until next year!

  25. - Ace Matson - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 10:57 am:

    Ryan Theriot is the luckiest player on the face of the earth - out of Cubs purgatory and back in the playoffs with the ‘Birds!

  26. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 11:01 am:

    Go Brewers!

  27. - Kerfuffle - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 11:07 am:

    wordslinger “ ‘Soaked with beer and champagne…’ It’s LaRussa’s clubhouse, alright.–Or his car.” Wow - it must be hard for you being perfect. Your comment was ungracious to say the least.

  28. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    As a transplanted Cardinals (and Sox) fan from Metro East, and living in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago, it got me a little misty-eyed to see my son wearing his Cardinals shirt to school today. *sniff* That’s my boy!

  29. - Joe from Joliet - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 11:21 am:

    … Cubs fans are pathetic …

    Yep, pretty pathetic when all they can hope for is someone else’s failure. Again. Next year. Again.

  30. - whetstone - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 11:43 am:

    Please, for a wild card?

    Honestly, if anything redeemed the Wild Card, it was last night. Which I say (more) as a baseball fan than a Cardinals fan.

    But then you gotta feel for Atlanta…the only difference between their Cub-like collapse and a real Cub-like collapse is the 99+ years of history behind it.

    Yes and no. The Braves have been arguably the best NL team in my lifetime, if you judge “best” by “consistently good.” Sure, they only got one WS out of it, but 14 consecutive division titles is an amazing achievement.

    Then again I’m the kind of person who looks at the Bills and thinks “losing three straight Super Bowls is kind of more impressive than winning one.” I know championships are the point, but the difficulty of sustained above-averageness is underrated.

  31. - PaGo - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 11:53 am:

    BoSox undefeated all season when leading after the 8th inning.

    Both ATL and BoSOX blow saves in the 9th. (The irony of their respective Septembers is so thick here)

    Comeback? Hell no. Total collapse.

    Congrats to STL and TB for taking advantage and playing exceptional baseball at the end of the season.

    LaRussa coming to the South Side….??? Priceless.

  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 12:44 pm:


  33. - John A Logan - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 12:56 pm:

    Go Cards. I have been exhumed 10 times in the last month because with every Cardinal loss I died all over again. How we backed into this playoff spot is beyond me.

  34. - D.P. Gumby - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 1:15 pm:

    Who says baseball is boring!! What a night!

  35. - Wumpus - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 1:41 pm:

    162 Game season. It didn’t hurt that the Braves finished with Philly and the Cards finished with Cubs/Astros.

  36. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 2:27 pm:

    As much as I tried, I could not stay awake to flip back-and-forth between the Rays and my Sawx. I woke up, looked at my dog and saw on Sportscenter that the Rays made the playoffs. I said something to my dog and fell back asleep. Oh well. The Sawx blew it. They played like crap at the beginning and end of the year. They need to develop better young starting pitching, condition their players more efficiently and, even after last night, bring Paps back as their closer. After all, the Sawx still won two World Series in the past decade. Terry Francona deserves a bit of leeway. And if my Sawx are going to lose out to anyone, at least it was the Tampa Rays.

  37. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 2:53 pm:

    Showing my age I can only say that complete game 2 hit shutouts weren’t always epic, back in the day of Gibson, Spahn, Koufax….

  38. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 2:58 pm:

    –Showing my age I can only say that complete game 2 hit shutouts weren’t always epic, back in the day of Gibson, Spahn, Koufax….–

    … and Jenkins, Carlton, McClain, Seaver…

    They had to lower the mound for those guys.

    Those also would go 300 innings a year. Now you’re an ironman if you go 200.

  39. - matty - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 4:13 pm:

    Rich, where is my Brewers open thread??? I mean, we won the division (first since 1982), have the #1 home record in the league, sold 3.1 million tickets, set numerous franchis records, and have top candidates for MVP and batting titles - all while playing in the smallest market in the MLB. I’ve made it to a dozen Milwaukee games this season and am clutching my ticket for game #2 this Sunday. Us Brewers fans, wherever we may be, have earned this division championship and we will forever cherish the year that was 2011.

    LETS GO CREW!!!!!!

    oh, and the ultimate reason to root for Milwaukee: they are named after beer.

  40. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 4:14 pm:

    ===Rich, where is my Brewers open thread???==

    Wisconsin blows.

  41. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 4:44 pm:

    Not a lot of Card fans here so…
    GO cards!

  42. - matty - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 4:47 pm:

    ah Rich, that pains me to hear you say that. I must state though that I am in the “anybody but the packers” club. I really do hate Green Bay, so you can bash them all you want. Just leave my Badgers and Brewers alone. I would think a guy like you would love all of the beer and cheese that WI provides.. perhaps I am wrong, but I find that hard to imagine

  43. - BIG R. Ph - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 4:47 pm:

    Man that champagne in the eyes burns….

    But it is a good burn!!

    GO CARDS!! Already got tickets for Tuesday & Wednesday.

  44. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 5:00 pm:

    Wumpus, you failed to mention that the Cards played the Phillies, in Philadelphia, right before the Cubs, and took 3 out of 4….while the Braves were playing sub .500 teams and still losing . Their respective schedules were very similar down the stretch. Including a head to head sweep by the Cardinals (when I started to first get the feeling that a comeback may happen). Cardinals took advantage, Braves did not. Just an unbelievable night for baseball in general!

  45. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 29, 11 @ 8:26 pm:

    Go Brewers!

  46. - someonehastosayit - Friday, Sep 30, 11 @ 4:40 pm:

    Comments on this please: Since they made the playoffs this year without Wainwright AND they blew 20+ saves, why not make Wainwright the closer when he comes back next year? Had a healthy Wainwright been the closer this year the Cards would have walked away with the division.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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