Five Years Ago Tonight: That’s An NL Pennant Winner!

You might be looking for some positive baseball news these days, so how about a trip back to the evening of Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011? That’s when the St. Louis Cardinals won their 18th National League pennant by beating the Milwaukee Brewers in those games that filled the time between the classic National League Division Series and even more classic World Series.

I honestly don’t remember much about the 2011 NLCS, other than the October Legend of David Freese had its first chapters, as he was named series MVP, and all of the relievers got a lot of use, and also deserved to be named series MVP. And maybe that’s fine. Scrolling back through the posts from the series and seeing names like Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun and Nyjer Morgan — ugh. So much better to remember the Rally Squirrel instead. And, of course, a pennant-clinching win.

Especially because we remember what happened in the days to follow.

Believe It! Cardinals Are In The World Series!

Photo: StLToday.com

Photo: StLToday.com

We’re always told to never give up, always keep trying, you never know how things will work out.

If you ever question whether that’s true or not, you now have the perfect example of what not giving up can get you.

The National League pennant.

It bears repeating again and again — the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals are National League champions! Next happy flight: home to host the Texas Rangers in game one of the World Series on Wednesday!

It’s the Cardinals’ 18th NL pennant, and their third trip to the World Series since 2004. They’ll be going for their 11th World Series title — #11in11 as those of us on Twitter have seen so often — and will take on a Rangers team that’s making their second (and second consecutive) trip to the Series.

And while it’s been quite a ride since Aug. 25, last night was perhaps the wildest of them all.

The Cardinals started slugging in the first inning. Lance Berkman had an RBI single before Mr. NLCS MVP David Freese hit a three-run homer. At the end of two innings it was 5-4 Cards, but they scored four more in the third and that was basically that. Once again, the bullpen did a tremendous job — and had its longest outing of the NLCS, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs and three hits.

About that Freeser MVP award: he hit .545 in the series with 3 homers, two doubles, nine RBI and a 1.091 slugging percentage. Plus he now goes to the World Series as a member of the team he grew up cheering for — how awesome is that?

Actually, what story about the 2011 Cardinals isn’t awesome? From the rebuilding of the bullpen that made it a strength and LB’s resurgent year to Albert and CC’s bouncebacks from rough starts, along with Torty Craig and Rally Squirrels and Happy Flights and the September and now October to remember — all amazing. And with more stories still to be written in the days ahead, because the season’s not over yet.

World Series, here comes the Cardinals! The Rangers are likely already highly favored — of course they would be. Just like the Phillies and Brewers before them …

Congratulations, Cardinals,and thanks for this wonderful ride so far. Can’t wait to see just how much farther it goes.

And, to close, one more picture, courtesy of ESPN on Twitter.

TLR-celebration

That’s definitely a winner!

 

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