Ah, the 2004 Cardinals. That great 105-win team with the MV3 seemingly unstoppable on offense, Larry Walker receiving a standing ovation upon striking out in his Cardinals debut, a rookie named Yadier Molina getting called up in June, Chris Carpenter having a great first season with the team, those other new starters Jason Marquis and Jeff Suppan doing really well too (yes, they really did) and Rick Ankiel successfully returning to the mound in September plus winning a game. (Sadly, his last.)
And how could we forget a bullpen with Cal Eldred, Ray King, Steve Kline, Julian Tavarez, Kiko Calero and of course Jason Isringhausen? Ray King! Steve Kline! Kiko!
Plus, in looking at this picture to the left, we can’t avoid mentioning Mike Matheny. Or Reggie Sanders, Edgar Renteria and Tony Womack. Also, of course, Matt Morris (who you can see in the video below).
Ever since researching my post the other day on the 2004-2006 teams vs. the 2011-2013 teams, I’ve been remembering how much I loved that 2004 team. They were just so fun to watch, game after game, because they were so good in so many ways — especially Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds.
The 2004 NLCS was also a classic. A seven-game battle against the Houston Astros, with the home team winning every game. It was the perfect ending to the 2004 season! (That’s what I’ve told myself for years, anyway: the season ended with the Cards crowned NL champs.) Of the seven, Game Six was probably the most epic of all — a 12-inning battle that only went to extras because of a blown save by Izzy yet ended with the spectacular walk-off homer by Jimmy with Albert on base.
Here, thanks to MLB Classics on YouTube, is the full game — complete with a baby-faced Carlos Beltran and a heavily bearded (but not gray) Lance Berkman on the enemy side and Matt Morris starting for the Cards. It’s just over three hours, and it’s only the game — no commercials. Enjoy!
If you just prefer to see the ending, check it out here.
Oh, and Game Seven is also available from MLB Classics too — if you want to see that Roger Clemens vs. Jeff Suppan battle (and the rather fantastic catch by Jimmy Edmonds) again too.
Coming next Thursday: a look back to 2005.
Christine Coleman is the lead writer for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email email@example.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates and like us on Facebook.