It was only yesterday that many among us saw the St. Louis Cardinals as The Perfect Postseason Team. The Redbirds never got rattled, went the party line. (And there was, we concede, reason for such reasoning.) They knew how to manufacture runs. They’d be down to their last strike and still Find A Way To Win.
This just in: The Perfect Postseason Team lost.
Ahead 3-1 in the NLCS, the Cardinals were outscored 20-1 over the final 27 innings. Of the 35 runs the Giants scored in the series, 10 were unearned. The team that overcame staggering odds to beat Texas in the 2011 World Series and the Nationals in the NLDS had three chances to close out the unassuming Giants and didn’t come close in any of them. Yes, there was one massive fluke — the Game 7 double struck by Hunter Pence that actually was struck by Pence’s breaking bat three times! — but that only proves the greater point. Which is: