The Cardinals enjoyed a stunning season, starting on fire in April, and slacking into a frustrating roller coaster of highs and lows over the long summer. A talented team never quite yielded the results you'd expect from their talents.
Nevertheless, in September and October, the Cardinals managed to put themselves into the first second wild card slot in national league history. They managed to beat an excellent Atlanta Braves team in the first one game Wild Card playoff of its kind. Perhaps the pinnacle of the postseason was a tense series with maybe the best team in baseball, the Washington Nationals. In the decisive game 5, the Cardinals put on maybe the best comeback in postseason history, scoring 4 runs in the ninth inning to win the game 9-7.
in the series against the Giants, the Cardinals took a 3-1 lead before blowing the last three games, with a remarkably run-free coda to the series and the season in those last three games.
The temptation is to devise some essential moral lesson to the last 3 games, probably involving heart and winning spirit. If you buy that kind of story, you haven't been paying attention. This end is a frustrating end to a great season. I'll remember it more fondly than not.
The 88-win 2012 Cardinals went further into the postseason than 26 other teams. They went just as far into the postseason as the 2005 Cardinals.
I guess you can walk around believing that only seasons that are worth playing are ones that end in a World Series, but you're going to hate about 90% of baseball seasons unless you're a Yankee fan.
We have a talented team and great prospects for next year. Thank you to the team, the staff, and the front office for putting a great, entertaining product on the field. I hope you've enjoyed the 2012 season with VEB as much as the other writers and I have enjoyed it with you.