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An Improbable 24 hours...

This October, we may very well look back upon the past 24 hours and proclaim it to be the catalyst that propelled the Redbirds to yet another playoff berth. As Jeurys Familia took the mound on Wednesday night, even the most diehard Cardinals fans at Citi Field were preparing to head for the exits. Familia had successfully saved 52 consecutive regular season opportunities (the third longest streak in MLB history) dating all the way back to August 1, 2015. To put it in perspective, the last time Familia blew a regular season save, Rookie Of The Year candidate Aledmys Diaz was still riding the bus to ballparks across the Texas League for the AA Springfield Cardinals. As Matt Adams lined out to start off the inning, it looked like it would be business as usual for the Mets closer....but then it all began to unravel...slowly at first...a walk to Jedd Gyorko on four straight pitches brought Yadier Molina to the plate. As he has done many times before, Familia went to his trademark sinker. This time, however, the result was far from what he intended. As Yadi launched the ball deep to center field, the painful memories of his 9th inning heroics in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS surely worked their way into the minds of the onlooking Mets fans. Before the improbable reality of the blown save fully soaked in, Familia compounded the mistake by hanging a 97 MPH slider to the pinch-hitter Kolten Wong who returned the volley for the go-ahead run. Just like that, the Cardinals had pickpocketed a precious victory from the jaws of defeat.

Flash forward less than 24 hours to tonight's matchup against the Miami Marlins. If you thought stealing a win from Familia with a lead in the 9th inning was a long-shot, how about snatching a victory against Jose Fernandez in Miami with Michael Wacha on the mound?! Entering tonight's game, Jose Fernandez was 26-1 with a 1.47 ERA at home. Only Max Scherzer had recorded more punchouts in the National League than Fernandez had this season. Wacha, on the other hand, had just faced the Marlins 12 days ago and only lasted 4 innings as the Cardinals lost 6-3. The vegas odds certainly favored a Marlins win tonight...but then lightning struck in the form of a 3rd inning Diaz bomb! And then lightning struck twice as Holliday immediately followed suit with a homer of his own. Back-to-back jacks off a pitcher who's only given up 26 career home runs in three and a half MLB seasons. In fact, that is only the third time in his career that he has even given up multiple home runs in a game and he's never given up a back-to-back dinger. Oddly enough, the first time Fernandez gave up two home runs in one game was in 2014 against the San Diego Padres when a kid by the name of Jedd Gyorko took him yard not once but twice!

Behind those early home runs and another strong performance by the Final Boss, the Redbirds were able to grab their second win in as many nights by the score of 5-4. That result means that the Cardinals have been involved in 7 games decided by only one run since July 20th...and improbably the Cardinals have won all 7.

The tide seems to have turned...could we be headed towards another Red October?