Last man standing

The Cardinals are headed back to the World Series

Yadier Molina -- yes, you did read that right -- hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning, and new closer Adam Wainwright struck out Carlos Beltran with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-1 win in a decisive Game 7.

That's the good news. The bad news is they get the Detroit Tigers. In 1934, the Gas House Gang prevailed, but 34 years later, Detroit figured out how to reach Bob Gibson -- and his 1.12 ERA, a number as important to baseball as 755.

For one night, though, this can be enjoyed. The team that nearly pissed away a 7 1/2-game NL Central lead in the final two weeks of the season will try -- again -- for their first World Series championship since Whitey Herzog and double-knit days of 1982.

Two years ago, the Cardinals reached the series against the Boston Red Sox, and looked real bad while getting swept. I will have another prediction on Friday, but let's just say I think they'll be celebrating in the Motor City.

It's been 24 years since the Cardinals last won the World Series ... not for a lack of trying.

1985 -- Don Denkinger calls Jorge Orta safe in Game 6, sending Joaquin Andujar into a meltdown. St. Louis loses Game 7 by an 11-0 score to Kansas City, forever handing over bragging rights in Missouri.

1987 -- Cardinals win all three games at Busch, but cannot solve the magic -- or the crowd noise -- at the Metrodome, losing to Puckett, Hrbek, Gaetti and the rest of the Minnesota Twins in seven games.

2004 -- Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen combine for 122 homers and 358 RBIs in the regular season. Facing another team of destiny, like the one 17 years earlier, the trio combine to bat .133 -- 6-for-45 -- with Rolen failing to get a hit. The Red Sawx end 86 years of frustration.

Will '06 be the year?

1 comment:

The Girl in Black said...

Now I won't have to worry about keeping you entertained during a KC road trip.