ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: Jason Motte #30 and Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 to win the World Series in Game Seven of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
I loved the 2006 Cardinals, but they didn't make any sense at all; I loved the 2004 and 2005 teams, but they must have made a little too much sense.
The 2011 St. Louis Cardinals won a World Series game in which Albert Pujols hit three home runs and looked invincible; they won a World Series game in which five members of the bullpen combined to carry them through three scoreless innings; they won a World Series game in which Chris Carpenter came out on a rainout's inadvertent rest, his fastball an unpleasant rumor, and threw breaking balls until he couldn't throw breaking balls anymore.
They won a World Series game in which all that kept them from elimination was a strike each for a broken-down first baseman from a rival team and a guy who's had three ankle surgeries performed on two ankles.
This team was everything 16 years of Tony La Russa Cardinals teams have been in two months—immensely talented and frustrating, overachieving and frustrating, deeply lucky and frustrating, and impossible, frustratingly impossible, to stop watching, no matter how brutal things looked. It was as much Allen Craig as it was Albert Pujols, as much the bullpen phone as it was Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel showing up at the perfect moment, as much David Freese getting a second chance after that E5 as it was David Freese doing something about it.
It was a lot of fun to watch, and now it will be a lot of fun to remember. I'm excited to start remembering it.
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