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St. Louis Cardinals Advance To NLCS

St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Skip Schumaker (55)

Last night Chris Carpenter and the STL Cards shocked the world by bringing down the Juggernaut Phillies in the Fifth and final game of the NLDS to advance to the NL Championship Series to face their Division rival and regular season superior for a chance to represent the NL in the World Series.

Before I express my amazement that two teams from the NL Central are the two best NL teams, and before I talk about the Brewer Series, or the possible World Series something happened last night that must be Addressed. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies, by only posting up ONE RUN. Chris Carpenter, backed by a stellar defensive showing, pitched a GEM, 9 shutout innings allowing only 3 hits outdueling his former teammate Roy Halladay posting his 6th Postseason career win in just 11 starts. The Cardinals were played tight by their opponent all night, as they were only able to squeak a run in the first after Rafael Furcal blasted a leadoff triple and was immediately brought home with a deep double to right field by center fielder Skip Schumaker who was removed from the game after that due to an Oblique strain. After the first inning excitement the Phillies were able to keep the Cards scoreless, unfortunately for them the defense and pitching of the redbirds was airtight.

It appears the cards have moved on from the mindset that they’re the lucky underdog who doesn’t belong, they are just one series against a division opponent away from playing for another title.

“I understand we had some struggles during parts of the regular season, but you look at this team and, my goodness, we’ve got as good an everyday lineup as you can run out there,” said Lance Berkman. “We’ve got several starters that are capable of shutting people down, and sort of a revamped and solid bullpen. And we’re playing good. That’s a good combination.”

We clearly see the confidence and passion the cards are playing with now, and to say the Brewers have their hands full would be an understatement. Game 1 of this NLCS series will kick off in Milwaukee with Zach Greinke taking the mound. If you had told me at ANY point that the Brewers and the Birds would be the two best NL teams when its all said and done, I’d have spontaneously combusted. The NL-Central is renowned as of late as being one of baseballs weakest and worst divisi0ns, It appears that this has changed, and for the better. Regardless of what happens many fans in the midwest have alot to be excited about this October, be it a division series that means so much more than it has before, or be it the chance to see the redbirds repeat their 06′ success over the tigers. One thing is sure, there is no better place on God’s green earth to be in October than St. Louis Mo.

 

Photo Courtesy of Keith Allison

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