One way or another, it always turns out this way.
Throughout the year, the Cardinals have been a great team. They have won series after series by the help of promising youngsters and dependable elders. But the one team they couldn't knock out was the Pirates. How many remember that series a while back where St. Louis scored like one or two runs the entire time? Meanwhile the pitching staff was getting eaten up. In serveral different series, the Pirates clobbered them. A. J. Burnett symbolized the dominance of the Pittsburg staff, as the Cardinals never could solve him.
But just a few days ago, in the last series of the year against the Pirates, something clicked. A. J. didn't look that good anymore. Pirate hitting dropped off the face of the earth. And many were beginning to have doubts about the Pirates having that "miracle season" where everything comes together after all of those years of losses.
You know what it is, don't ya? This is not anything new. And it sure isn't the Cardinals getting lucky. No, no. This is something that they do every year. Or at least consistenly for several of the past years. The Cardinals may lose, but rest assured, before long, they're gonna have your number. And you will have nowhere to hide - no matter how good your pitching or hitting is.
I'm sure there was a lot of comfort in the hearts of Pirates fans as they entered into this last series. Why shouldn't they be comfortable? Most of the games that the Pirates played the Cardinals were blowout wins. It looked as if the Cardinals didn't have a chance against them. But comfort quickly turned into pain.
The Cardinals didn't kill them this past week for no reason at all. It's just that time of the year. I can use 2011 as my prime source here. 10.5 games back from the wild card. A month left. Everything changed. The Braves were sent home packing after feeling so great. This year is no different.
Don't get me wrong... the Pirates have a great team, no doubt. But it's all about who gets hot at the right time. That's why the best team doesn't always win the World Series. Whoever can see the ball best at the time is going to win.
The scary thing is, the Cardinals are getting in the habit of getting hot at the right time EVERY time. When it gets to this time in the season, it's like a switch is turned on. It doesn't matter if they're playing the Yankees (a team who pays big bucks for big stars who will put up big wins) or a team like the Pirates, who are getting a real chance with a lot of talent... the Cardinals have the upper hand. And everyone knows it.