Backs Against the Wall…Again
The Cardinals didn’t have quite enough to beat the Phillies Tuesday night, and now they face a do-or-die elimination game on Wednesday.
Of course, this is not unfamiliar territory for the Cards. They battled back from 10 1/2 games out to secure a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season. They lost Game 1 to the Phillies after squandering a lead, and after falling behind 4-0 in Game 2 they battled back again to win the game and even the NLDS. And Tuesday, they were down 3-0 but again fought back and nearly tied the game in the 9th inning. Wednesday, they win or they go home. It’s really that simple.
I have the good fortune of being able to attend Game 4 at Busch Stadium. A couple years ago, I also got to go to Game 3 of the 2009 NLDS against the Dodgers. But after that year’s Game 2 had been lost in the lights (and Matt Holliday’s groin area), emotions were only cautiously high. Deep down, I think we all knew the Cards were in trouble. Not only were they down 0-2 in the series; they lost a game they had all but won. Call it momentum or karma or whatever, but that Cardinal team lost something big in Game 2 that year and never had much of a chance in Game 3.
This year is different. For the most part, the Cards have been with the Phils every step of the way. I’m truly optimistic about Game 4 on Wednesday. And if they win, all bets are off for Game 5 with Chris Carpenter facing Roy Halladay, both on full rest. This series is shaping up to be a classic in the making.
But first things first: the Cards must beat Philly on Wednesday at Busch.