The St. Louis Cardinals, whatever happens in the NLCS, just did that

Patrick McDermott - Getty Images

Whatever happens, that just happened.

I started thinking about that when Daniel Descalso hit his home run—or at least I finished composing the thought. These St. Louis Cardinals were, at the time, in the middle of a game that was eminently them; they kept rallying, and those rallies kept faltering just short. They reran the Gio Gonzalez show we'd seen earlier in the week, scoring runs on a walk and a wild pitch and failing behind Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina. They showed us Matt Holliday failing in a crucial postseason situation.

They scored just enough, in each one, to put themselves in a position to win, if only Daniel Descalso would drive in three runs and Pete Kozma two.

These are our Cardinals. They frustrate, and they frustrate, and they keep almost-succeeding, and then Pete Kozma comes in to save the day at the last minute. And if they lose in the ninth inning, I thought, so be it. In a 6-0 game they gave me that—the accretion of near-successes into something resembling a valiant effort.

If they lose in the NLCS, I think, so be it. For the second year in a row they were brought up on charges of regular season indifference, of playing the wrong way, of underachieving relative to the pace they'd set before. For the second year in a row they've turned in, by way of a defense, a comeback so ridiculous as to act as a parody of the genre.

I'm old enough to remember when the Cardinals didn't win every single postseason series as though they were reenacting the final 20 minutes of a Mighty Ducks movie. Having gotten one more I'm sated, and ready to so-be-it a loss if it comes to that. Of course, I'm also a little greedy.

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