We've got oursleves one.
We've got oursleves one.
There are no words, really. While the Braves were contributing to the cause, the Cardinals were fumfering around in Houston, pissing away a game in extra innings. If you thought that loss to the Mets last week was bad... well, the Cards will see that loss and raise you a beating from the hands of a 104 loss powerhouse.
I've seen less teasing on Red Tube.
It's hard to reconcile everything that we're seeing in September. The Cardinals are equal parts dramatic, pathetic, enthralling and hapless. They're the kids that have been given every single opportunity, but can't seem to make it easy on themselves. It's a constant game of finally waiting for a breakthrough that may or may not come in the next two days.
Make no mistake, the only winners in that game are cardiologists and therapists.
The optimists among us will point to the excitement we've received received unexpectedly in September. The pessimists? They'll just put this loss tonight on repeat and let it speak for itself.
The end is near.
The outcome is not.
It’s only fitting.
The 2011 Cardinals are the cruelest team that fans have endured in a long time. They give us what we want… some of the time. They do what they’re capable of… if they feel like it.
Friday night, the season was over. 3 back with five to play is about as insurmountable as 10.5 back with 30 to go. But now, on Monday morning, the Cardinals are again within one. Inexplicably.
Things we loved from the weekend?
+ Andron Chambers and his rally towel from the dugout. Fun? From the Cardinals dugout?
+ The first inning standing ovation for Albert Pujols. Succinctly, if that guy bats again in that stadium in another jersey, it will be flipping awful.
+ Bottom of the 9 rally where one hit somehow produces 2 runs and a walk off win.
+ Making sure the Cubs have a real sour taste in their mouths as they end the season.
And things we hated from the weekend?
Mainly this… which appeared in the ol’ inbox exactly 13 minutes after the game ended yesterday. (Side: I get it. It’s business and I guess they have to do it. But couldn’t the thing been phrased with that exact disclaimer? After all, isn’t the #1 sound bite of all time from pro athletes: “one game at a time”?)
And over. (I'm talking about the season now.)
Flashback to yesterday afternoon - Hooks is stuck in DC, presumably banging chicks with Ankiel, and he asks me to crank out a Friday article. I'm always willing to do so, despite being absent from the Diaspora and Twitter for a couple weeks now. Maybe I'm an ass, but I'm a much better blogger and Tweeter when the Cardinals suck, so I've been hiding in the bushes lately. Plus superstition, right? I figured this would be a great opportunity to publicly jump back on the bus, and start believing in this team again. I even planned on putting out a post-game article and this one for Friday, I was so pumped.
At 5:30 pm yesterday, I was ready to leave the office with the Cards up 6-1 going to the top of the 8th. I was finishing up a quick blurb about how I can't believe the Cardinals are ONE measly game behind the Braves, and it was only a matter of days before champagne was being popped for a miraculous wild card playoff berth. I was heading to softball, so I considered setting the article to post at 6:30pm so we could be one of the first sites out there with a reaction piece.
Then around 6:15...well, you know:
Thursday's loss reminded us who we're dealing with - the most unpredictable and most frustrating bunch of jerks to ever wear the Cardinal uniform (I say that out of love, honestly). I know if I keep my #1 foam finger and rally towels out, they're going to suck. If I get all critical about how terrible this team is, they're going to reel off 12 wins in 14 games.
The lowly Cubs come into town with the seventh worst record in baseball. Do the Cardinals take care of business and sweep an inferior team, or play down to the level of competition and finish off our much-damaged balls once and for all?
Now, the Friday links:
- CNN Gets a Tad Racist. Barely Noticeable. LINK HERE
- Internet Gold: Nancy Grace Monster Jams LINK HERE
- Zombie Celebrities (I probably shouldn't have clicked that at 2am) LINK HERE
- Things that Will Never Get Old: Awkward Facebook Interactions LINK HERE
- Awesome People Hanging Out with Chevy Chase LINK HERE
- No, it's Not cardsdiaspora.com - The Bad Opinion Generator LINK HERE
- Grantland: The Tijuana Sports Hall of Fame LINK HERE
- Taking in London Fashion Week While Tripping on Acid LINK HERE
Looks like this race is destined for the wire.
The Cardinals came home and roundly thumped the NY Pondscum after falling behind early. Pujols is on pace for .310. And something called Adron Chambers continues to be the grim reaper for teams when he pinch hits.
What in the hell is going on here?
We've been asking, nay, begging for this team to show a little applebag in 2011 and it looks like they've finally discovered some inner strength.
Unfortunatly, the Braves won as well, so the gap remains 2.5 back. But with 8 remaining, it looks like the last week of the season is going to be nailbiting baseball. If you'd have told the 3 week ago Aaron that'd be the case, I'd laugh you out of here quick. But now, here I am, in Washington D.C. trying to freaking find a bar with the Cardinal game on.
(BTW- I might just have filmed the greatest video of all time last night. I'm debating on posting it or not...)
But here we are. An insane scenerio being played out before our eyes. And even if the Cardinals lose 3 in a row and fall all the way out of this sucker by the time they head out to Houston - at least we have whatever that feeling we have now is - for a few fleeting moments.
And if somehow they get to the playoffs... you want to play this team?
It's September 20th and the Cardinals aren't dead yet? Why do I feel like this is cruelest ploy of 2011 yet?
In case you were busy watching the STL Rams get whipped on Monday Night Football, the Cardinals improbably beat the Phillies for the 3rd time in 4 days while the Braves were busy pissing away a lead in the bottom of the 9th against the hapless Marlins.
The lead in the Wild Card race has been reduced to 2.5 games. 2.0 in the loss column.
We did the math yesterday and told you just how unlikely a Wild Card win/tie would be for the Cardinals. But coming home at their high water mark for the year against the Mets and Cubs with a glowing ember of hope- by the weekend against the Cubs, that series could be a red hot fire.
Now, it's still a long shot. The Cardinals are still a prohibitive underdog in this battle considering only 9 games remain... but there is HOPE. And gosh dammit if I didn't ever want to type that. Because the thing that the Cardinals do better than any other team in baseball is crush hope. When everything looks like it's in alignment, bad stuff happens. When they head into Philly for a NL East coronation beat down, down their second best weapon... well, they dominate.
It's sitting there. That opportunity.
Like a shiny bauble in the store window. And the Cardinals are shopping, but no one knows for sure if they'll buy.
I guess at a minimum, they've made September much more interesting than I'd have ever expected. They've forced us to write about 10 articles in a row about freaking baseball. WTF, right?
We'll see. We're nervous.
Let's call it 3.
The Cardinals play 10 games in 10 days and need to make up 3 games to force a 1 game playoff against the Atlanta Braves for the NL Wild Card. If the Braves go 7-3 during that time, then the Cardinals need a 10 game winning streak.
But the Braves are slumping right?
So let's put them at 4-6 in their last 10. The Cardinals still need to go 7-3 to make up that ground. Not impossible, considering that they'll close out with the Mets, Cubs and Astros (all big time losers in 2011, and in the Cubs' case... forever) BUUUUUTTT - the Braves are playing the dregs of the NL, sans the Phillies to close out the regular season. The Phillies seem to already be in coast mode.
We've got to put the worst case scenario for the Braves at 6-4. Meaning the Cardinals can lose 1 more game the remainder of 2011.
I know that "3" doesn't look terribly daunting on it's surface. But it's Everest when only 10 games remain. I think just because the Cardinals have had their way with the Braves over the past decade that we automatically think this is, if not probable, at least possible. But when you look at that "1" it seems like a taller order than originally you thought.
Oh, and Roy Halladay is hurling for the Phillies tonight.
I'm rooting like hell for the Cardinals to win and somehow get into the playoffs after a pretty insane season.
Yet, math, like it's always done for me - comes in and ruins everything.
So the key to postseason success in the minds of the Cardinals? Sign everybody that couldn't make the playoffs in the first place!
That screengrab is from the Cardinals homepage.
And while I'm all for homer-ism, sometimes the headlines just don't make sense. The Cardinals have 2 playoff appearances in 5 years. One resulted in a great photo op for nut shot lovers and zero wins. Most of the 2006 team isn't, you know, on the team. So how in the hell does the re-signing of guys like Chris Carpenter enhance the Cardinals chances in 2012?
Further, is this franchise really wanting to set expectations higher? As a fan, I'd like to think yes. But as a marketer, they're kind of screaming to the world that they expect to win big in 2012. And with the 50/50 chance that the best baseball player in baseball leaves after 2011- that's pretty bold.
Hell, I might be reading too much into this. Maybe I'm pre-bitter about taking 3 of 4 from Philly and then getting smoked by the Mets and Cubs to close out Brewers NL Central title and the Braves Wild Card.
It takes stones to talk about the playoffs in any capacity on the official team site, though. So they got that going for them. Which is nice.
Now, the Friday Links...
- UCB Project- Top 7 Prospect List. LINK HERE
- Biberkini's? Biberkini's. LINK HERE
- Real estate agents portraits. The website. LINK HERE
- The best wrestling moves are always at the VFW. LINK HERE
- You know what. Good for him. LINK HERE
- Sound like an office you know? LINK HERE
That's it. That's the week. I think we've seen enough of each other for a couple of days. Let's meet back here on Monday.
Good. On. You.
So as a reward, we're going to give 5 readers a prize.
No catch. No gimmicks. Every once in a while, fine people like A&E reach out to little sites like The CD and see if we'd like to give our readers "something". Usually it's an offer to optimize their page rank or ship Cialis at 70% off.
But A&E? They've got this DVD series coming out called 'Baseball's Greatest Games' and one of the featured titles is the 1985 NLCS Game 5 tilt. Let's refresh your memory: jump to the video LINK HERE. We'll wait ...
Pretty good, eh?
Well how about a DVD exploring the ins, outs and whathaveyous of this game? Produced by the people that brought you Intervention AND Dog the Bounty Hunter?
We've got 5 to give away.
Enter a comment below that says anything. (Literally, it can say "anything") and you're entered. We'll put the names in a hat and send 5 people this DVD ASAP. Contest closes on Thursday night 09/15/11 @ 11:59c.
If you want to buy the sucker online now, we won't stop you: LINK HERE