In 2005 and 2006 the Cardinals went to the NLCS after beating the San Diego Padres in the NLDS. In back-to-back years the Cardinals eliminated the Padres on October 8.
In 2005 the 100-win Cardinals were set up to demolish the 82-win Padres and that is exaclty what they did. The Cardinals swept the Padres in three games win a run differential of 21 runs scored to 11 runs allowed. In the final game the Cardinals squared off against a familiar face in Woody Williams. The offense did immediate damage thanks to the pesky David Eckstein and the incomparable Albert Pujols. Eckstein began his eventual 3 for 5 day with a single and scored on a Pujols double. The Birdos tacked on more runs in the second inning after a David Eckstein home run and a Reggie Sanders double. Yadier Molina also added to the Cardinals lead and by the fifth inning the team was ahead 7-0.
Matt Morris kept the Padres off the scoreboard until then. The Padres put together a few singles to score two runs in the bottom of the fifth and Dave Roberts (yes the Dodgers current manager, Dave Roberts) added another run with a homer in the seventh. The Padres tacked on another run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Cardinals held on to win 7-4.
2006 went similarly, except the Cardinals were not heavily favored anymore. The series went into game four with the 83-win Cardinals leading the 88-win Padres two games to one. The Padres struck first in the top of the first against Chris Carpenter. Carpenter walked in the first run of the game and groundout scored the second run. That would be all the Padres would score, though, as Carpenter would pitch a scoreless game after that until being pulled in the eighth inning. The Cardinals offense went to work against Woody Williams yet again, immediately tying the game in the bottom of the first and taking the lead in a four-run bottom of the sixth. The score did not change from there, Adam Wainwright closed out the game, and the Cardinals went on to win 6-2.
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