This year will be known as yet another great one for the St. Louis Cardinals, with so much that has happened over the past 365 days — and with so much of it good. Given there are now just today and tomorrow left in 2013, it’s time to take a look back. And as part of the United Cardinal Bloggers’ December project, here are our top five Cardinals stories for 2013.
1. Cardinals win the National League pennant
After finishing the regular season tied for the best record in the majors at 97-65 and winning the NL Central for the first time since 2009, the Cardinals didn’t stop once October arrived. They handled the Pirates in the division series and then headed to the NLCS for the third consecutive year, this time to face the Dodgers.
The Cards were victorious and clinched the pennant in six games, thanks especially to the incredible starting pitching from NLCS MVP Michael Wacha. So for the second time in three years, third time in eight years and 19th time overall, the Cardinals were National League champions and advanced to the World Series.
Once upon a time (actually, twice up a time) the St. Louis Cardinals met the Boston Red Sox in the World Series and the right team won. The first of those match-ups was in 1946.
Whitey Kurowski, Enos Slaughter, Marty Marion and — of course — Stan the Man
That season was Stan Musial’s first back following his military service in 1945, and all he did in 1946 was hit .365/.434/.587 with 228 hits including 50 doubles, 20 triples and 16 home runs to be named National League MVP and lead the Cardinals to their fourth pennant in five years.
The 1946 World Series is famous for Enos Slaughter’s “mad dash” to score what was the winning run for the Cardinals in Game Seven.You can read complete details about it here (Wikipedia is wonderful, isn’t it?)
And, since seeing is always better, check out this 1946 World Series highlight video, including Harry Walker describing his double that drove in Slaughter.
Yes, there was an obstruction call then too — along with a much happier Series ending, just like there was in 1967 as well.
What better way for the St. Louis Cardinals to honor Stan Musial than with six hits and their sixth win on the night to honor No. 6? Perhaps there was one thing better: the pitching of Shelby Miller. The future of the Cardinals definitely triumphed over past Cardinal Kyle Lohse as the Redbirds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0.
Beyond the game, the pregame tribute to honor Stan and the No. 6 in the outfield grass were pretty amazing as well.
Here’s a look at the good, better and best of the game.
Let’s start at the end. On a night when pitching ended up the story, it was good to see Mitchell Boggs get his second save of the season. It was neither pretty nor easy as he gave up both a walk and a single with one out and had to face Ryan Braun as the potential go-ahead run. But Boggs struck him out for the second out, then Rickie Weeks for the final out. Whew …
Also good to see: Trevor Rosenthal with three quick outs in the eighth.
It was good as well to see Kyle Lohse do well in his return to Busch Stadium. The fans gave him a very nice, mostly standing ovation. And his final numbers in the loss — two runs, six hits, two strikeouts, no walks — would have pleased us all during his Cardinal days. Continue reading →