But from the way I see it, you can either run from it... or learn from it.
The Lion King taught me a lot about life. It was a harsh reminder of the mortality of living things, to never trust anyone, and that hyenas are the biggest assholes in the animal kingdom, but the most important lesson was that you can't keep running from your past. Eventually you will have to face it and when you do, it is imperative to take the lessons you learned along the way and use them to your advantage.
The Cardinals find themselves in a vaguely familiar spot from last year. Taking a 3-1 advantage on the Giants and Barry Effing Zito, the Redbirds found themselves dropping three in a row and out of the World Series. It is easy to look at last year and this year and be worried.
I am not going to say there is nothing to worry about, but if we must, we can take solace in this fact: This team is different from last year's. Different by a long shot.
First of all, they are a greatly improved team talent-wise, mostly because of their pitching, in fact entirely because of their pitching. With the fresh, young power arms the Cardinals possess and Adam Wainwright with another year after Tommy John behind him, they are less reliant on that juggernaut offense of the past couple years. Not only can they put faith in the starting rotation, but they feature a bullpen that has the potential to shutdown a game. Last night was a perfect example of this. After the Cardinals got on the board in the third with a Daniel Descalso leadoff single, a Lance Lynn sacrifice bunt, a double by Matt Carpenter and a 426 foot home run by Matt Holliday, the Dodgers would start to come back, plating two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. This prompted Dodger skipper Don Mattingly to pinch hit for his starter. He knew this was the Dodgers best chance to score and after the bullpen got in the game, runs would be at a premium. Shane Robinson would later tack on a home run against the Dodger 'pen, and that would wrap up the scoring.
The Birdos also employ a "one game at a time" philosophy, which can be infuriating in its lack of originality. But I truly believe that the Cardinals have actually embraced this mantra, and partially because of what they went through last year. The have looked to the past and learned from their mistakes. Let's hope they can use what they learned and defeat Scar and his hyenas tonight and send themselves to their second World Series in three years.
On the bump for the Cardinals will be "Machine Gun/Bazooka/Dancin'/Deadfish Handshakin'/Houdini" Joe Kelly. He and his deadfish hands were able to work through some trouble in game one of this series. His weak hands did have some control issues his last game, hitting Hanley Ramirez in the ribs and causing a hairline fracture. Look for the fans to give him a warm, Los Angeles welcome. The Cardinals may need a similar or even better effort, minus the hit batsman, tonight and some good innings from the 'pen as the opposition is throwing Zack Grienke. The former Cy Young winner got a No Decision in game one, striking out 10 Cardinals and giving up only two runs.