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Old 01-04-2012, 09:08 PM  
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***Offical 2012 STL Cardinals World Champions Thread ***

St. Louis Cardinals: 7 reasons fans should feel good about 2012

Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 9:26 PM

St. Louis Cardinals fans are likely feeling deflated after the collapse that put an end to the team's dreams of a World Series repeat, but there is good reason to be excited.

With all of the odds against them, the Cardinals managed to push their 2012 season beyond any anticipated boundary.

Given all of the season's changes and the adversity the team had to fight through, the fact that they played in October at all was an anomaly in itself. On paper, it made sense for the Cardinals to be in the playoffs, but few saw them as a true threat.
As the season continued, even fans began to doubt as they watched the team seemingly crumble in June and July. When the Cardinals finally came to life in September they went 11-5 in the last 16 games of the season to lock up the second Wild Card position in its inaugural year.

That run, despite it's crushing end in Cincinnati in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, lots of good came from the Cardinals' season and playoff run.
Following in no particular order are 10 reasons Cardinals fans have to be excited about the 2013 season.

Trevor Rosenthal
When rookie fireballer Trevor Rosenthal made his first trip to St. Louis, it was obvious almost instantly that he was something special.
Between his 100 mph fastball and the general inability for almost anyone to hit off of him, he became a huge part of the Cardinals playoff run.

He pitched in a total of 19 regular season games before the 22-year-old rookie from Lee's Summit, Mo. got his first taste of postseason baseball and he put on quite a show.
In 8.2 IP over seven postseason appearances, Rosenthal held opponents to only two hits and no runs.
It's possible that down the stretch he may have already earned his spot in the rotation for 2013.

Shelby Miller
The long-coveted fastball pitching prospect Shelby Miller also made his first trip to St. Louis in 2012 and put on a good show.
In 13.2 IP over six regular season games, Miller surrendered only two runs on nine hits. His postseason performance was more of the same with two runs on four hits in 3.2 IP.

Despite a dismal first half of the season in Memphis, Miller got himself together and still managed to make one major league start before the end of the season -- a very impressive start at that.
Against the Cincinnati Reds in the final game of the regular season, Miller posted 5.2 hitless innings. He gave up no runs and collected his first major league win.

Expect to see a lot more of Miller in St. Louis early in 2013.

Joe Kelly
When Joe Kelly made his major league debut on June 10, few could have guessed the importance he would play throughout the remainder of the 2012 season.
Kelly started 16 games for the Cardinals this season filling in for Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn, but it was the postseason when he really came through for his teammates.

When starting pitchers struggled time and again in October, it was Kelly who came to their rescue.
In seven postseason appearances, Kelly threw 7.2 innings and surrendered only two runs on six hits. Kelly came through for the Cardinals from the bullpen.
There's a good chance that could be his home in the future.

Mike Matheny
When the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny to take over for Tony LaRussa, many question bringing in a manager with no experience to such a storied franchise.

He had a few hiccups and growing pains along the way, but for a rookie manager to get his team where Matheny did this year speaks volumes.
His players have a strong respect for Matheny and credit his positive style with being a driving force behind their 2012 success.
True, he didn't get them through the NLCS, but the team made it to an all or nothing Game 7. That's good experience for the players obviously, but also for Matheny. Not only did he learn a lot about managing in the media pressure cooker that is postseason baseball, he also got a taste of what it felt like to win as a manager.

NLCS loss means more drive to win
While the NLCS loss was a good lesson for a young manager, it's an even more important lesson for a young player.
The 2011 championship lit a fire under young players like Lance Lynn and Jon Jay. That fire helped drive them to extremely successful sophomore seasons.

What happened in 2012 will likely do the same for Rosenthal, Miller and Kelly. Their 2013 season may not be like Jay or Lynn's 2012, but now they've gotten a little taste of what it feels like to be a winner.

Both the excitement and the public humbling can be a great experience for any young player.

The run was without several key components
In a season riddled with injuries, none were as crucial as those late in the season.
The loss of Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal significantly weakened the team's bench. Instead of having Pete Kozma, Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter to pinch hit, the team wound up having to use them in the lineup.

The loss of Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook also rocked the Cardinals. Instead of having Lynn and Westbrook also available from the bullpen, Lynn was pushed back into the rotation after a very successful NLDS bullpen stint.

Having gotten as deep into the playoffs as the Cardinals did in spite of the injuries is quite the accomplishment.

They did it without Pujols, LaRussa and Duncan
Few in the world of sports gave the Cardinals a fighting chance when Albert Pujols left the team to play on the west coast. Surely this team couldn't be as good as they were?

Few gave them a chance after longtime manager Tony LaRussa decided it was time to retire.
Few gave them a chance after pitching coach Dave Duncan left the team.
The Cardinals did it despite all of that. That's something any fan should be proud of.

No, they didn't hoist a trophy. There will be no parade or tickertape.
What there is, though, is hope for next year and that will come sooner than you may think.
After all, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in just four short months.

From a blog I was sent on twitter: http://www.dailystatesman.com/blogs/...es/entry/50051

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #1846
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Well, we haven't exactly been an offensive juggernaut this series.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:17 PM   #1847
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:20 PM   #1848
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Seems like Lynn has hit a wall. Thoughts on Shelby Miller/Joe Kelly each doing 3-4 innings one of these games?
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:21 PM   #1849
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WTF is it like to be like you assholes?
Pretty much the exact opposite of being a Chiefs fan.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:42 PM   #1850
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Pretty much the exact opposite of being a Chiefs fan.
this. It's kept me from total depression about my teams.
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I'm not saying it's morally right or wrong, but does it make the child because of it? Think about that for a second.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #1851
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this. It's kept me from total depression about my teams.
Well I have hit rock bottom!
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #1852
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I kinda hope the Pujols deal ends up turning out like the ARod deal has.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:23 PM   #1853
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Well I have hit rock bottom!
Royals Chiefs fans have my respect. No breaks at any point during the year. I actually have seen a lot of success with the Yanks(offense optional), Devils, Buckeyes, and Nets. The Chiefs are the exception, and oh man do they try to make up the difference. They do it well.

The Cards are a fun team to watch. Clutch players making clutch plays. Meanwhile my team is on the verge of being rewarded a -1 for a score at some point in this series.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:31 PM   #1854
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Royals Chiefs fans have my respect. No breaks at any point during the year. I actually have seen a lot of success with the Yanks(offense optional), Devils, Buckeyes, and Nets. The Chiefs are the exception, and oh man do they try to make up the difference. They do it well.

The Cards are a fun team to watch. Clutch players making clutch plays. Meanwhile my team is on the verge of being rewarded a -1 for a score at some point in this series.
I have KU basketball though too.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:05 PM   #1855
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Seems like Lynn has hit a wall. Thoughts on Shelby Miller/Joe Kelly each doing 3-4 innings one of these games?
I hope they have a quick hook with Lynn in Friday's game because of Miller and/or Kelly.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:53 AM   #1856
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Cardinals endure in NLCS Game 3
By Jayson Stark
ESPN.com

ST. LOUIS -- So what won't those St. Louis Cardinals put themselves through to win a postseason baseball game, huh?

That whole one-strike-away thing? Mastered. That death-defying, six-runs-behind-and-live-to-tell-about-it act? Done.

That fabled infield-fly-rule magic? Been there. Done it. And that old gong-the-starter-in-the-second-inning trick? Perfected that one, too.

So you know all that nutty stuff that happened to them in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday? Why the heck would that be a big deal?

A 3-hour rain delay in the bottom of the seventh inning? … A starting pitcher who allows 12 baserunners in 5 2/3 innings? … The scary sight of Carlos (Mr. October) Beltran grabbing his knee and leaving the game in the second inning? … And ripping through the bullpen before the raindrops and then having to ask the closer to rip off the first six-out save of his life?

No problema.


Carlos Beltran's day ended after his first at-bat, a 4-6-3 double play. He left the game with a left knee strain.
"That's the fun of it. You can win a game so many different ways," the Cardinals' David Freese said after his team's leisurely 6-hour journey to a 3-1 win over the Giants on Wednesday.

Well, yes, you can, ladies and gentlemen. And the Cardinals are living proof. Now, Freese also said something about how "you can lose a game so many different ways." But that doesn't seem to apply to this team. Not this time of year.

You can throw an endless parade of aces at these guys. You can waterlog them. You can practically drown them. Doesn't seem to matter. You look up, and they're shaking hands at the end of another fascinating evening in October.

Not so long ago, they were scrambling to become the last team to sneak into this postseason field. Now they hold a 2-1 lead in this NLCS, and they're two games from a trip to a second straight World Series, after a game that wasn't just strange. It was pivotal.

And why was that? Over the past 13 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, 20 previous best-of-seven series have been tied at one game apiece. The team that won Game 3 in those series has gone on to win 17 of 20 times. Oh. That's why.

So afterward, the Cardinals could yuk it up about how they killed a 208-minute rain delay: Eating pretty much every food-like item in the clubhouse. … Listening to Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook sing. (Sorry. Set list not available. This isn't Backstreets.com.) … Playing every iPhone game ever invented. … And watching a YouTube clip Allen Craig dug up, of a guy mistakenly diving into a frozen swimming pool, about 612 times.

But through all the frivolity and all the calories and all the raindrops, they never lost sight of the important part of this crazy, endless day:

"In the back of our minds, we knew what was coming up," Freese said. "And that's the end of the game. … So I think everybody in here -- we had a lot of laughs. But we knew we still had work to do."

Actually, as it turned out, they'd already done most of the hard work, by taking a 3-1 lead before the monsoon arrived. And their most important wave of the bat all day came from a man who had no idea he'd be playing such an important role in this game.

That would be Matt Carpenter, one of this team's many secret weapons -- a 26-year-old thumper who keeps climbing off the bench, filling in at four different positions and opening eyes every time he swings a bat.

NLCS: Cardinals vs. Giants

Complete coverage of the Cardinals-Giants matchup. More

Carpenter had started only one game in the previous 18 days. And he didn't start this one, either. But in the bottom of the first inning, Beltran tweaked his chronically troublesome left knee while running to first base. And moments later, manager Mike Matheny was sending Carpenter out to play right field.

"It was definitely a surprise," Carpenter would say later. "I didn't even realize that Carlos had hurt himself. Next thing you know, Mike came up to me and told me to grab my glove, and I was going in right field."

It could have been a devastating development, losing a guy such as Beltran, who just happens to be the all-time leader in career postseason OPS (1.327). And it still could be, because Matheny clearly seemed worried afterward about Beltran's availability for the rest of this series and maybe beyond. (More info on him expected Thursday.)

But the depth of this team -- particularly in all its young boppers and smokeballing relievers -- continues to show up when the games mean the most. And Carpenter was just the latest and greatest example.

He went marching up there against Giants ace Matt Cain with two outs in the third inning, for the first NLCS at-bat of his lifetime. And what did he do? He cranked a monstrous two-run homer that sailed all the way over the right-field bullpen -- the longest home run (true distance: 429 feet) hit by a Cardinals left-handed hitter all season at Busch Stadium, and the second-longest homer hit by anyone in the 41 postseason games since the park opened in 2006. (The longest: 439 feet, by Andre Ethier, in the 2009 NLCS.)

That rocket gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead that was destined to hold up. And as the man who hit it rounded the bases, he was having trouble digesting what had just happened to him.

"Man, that was crazy," said Carpenter, who is now an incredible 5-for-6 in his career against Cain. "It was just one of those deals. I'm out there battling. I get down, 0 and 2. I battle back in the at-bat. And the next thing I know, I'm jogging around the bases. It was surreal, man."


Matt Carpenter, filling in for injured Carlos Beltran, blasted a two-run homer in the second inning that put the Cardinals up 2-1.
But if it was, it just fit right into this game -- because this whole extravaganza was one giant surreality show from start to finish.

Take Kyle Lohse's fun little outing, for instance. Historians will tell us he started and won this game. But how, exactly?

In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed 12 -- count 'em, 12 -- Giants to reach base. He also issued five walks -- for the first time in four years and only the third time in the 174 starts (regular season and postseason) he has made over the past six years. Yet, somehow or other, he gave up only one run. And got a win out of it.

Here's how amazing that was: In the history of postseason baseball, only one other pitcher has allowed that many baserunners in less than six innings and emerged as the winning pitcher. That happened as recently as 1929 -- when George Earnshaw did it for those late, great Philadelphia A's in Game 2 of the '29 World Series.

"When you have a game like that," Lohse said afterward, "100 pitches feels like 200."

Lohse finally exited with two outs and two on in the sixth. And his manager reacted by ripping through his three most trusted setup men -- Trevor Rosenthal, Edward Mujica and Mitchell Boggs -- just to get the next four outs.

Which would have been precarious enough even if the sky overhead hadn't looked like a scene from "Twister."

But since it wasn't exactly a secret that enough water was about to pour out of the sky to float a fleet of riverboats, it was getting a little dicey out there.

With a forecast that ominous, "you've definitely got it in the back of your mind," Freese said. "You want to do what you can before the rain hits. But this is the Midwest, man. So you never really know. That's probably the best job in the city [i.e., weatherman]. Get it wrong all year, and just stick around."

Well, this just in: The local weather geniuses didn't get this one wrong.

And as the next 3 waterlogged hours unfolded, it became increasingly clear that Boggs -- who had finished off the top of the seventh with two important strikeouts -- wasn't going to be able to come back after the skies cleared.

So who did that leave to pitch the eighth? Al Hrabosky? Bruce Sutter? Lindy McDaniel? Nope. Not available. But Jason Motte was.

p>That was news to Motte, though -- for the first three hours of this rain delay, at least.
"I was actually just sitting in here [in the clubhouse], and someone said, 'You got two innings in you?'" Motte reported later. "And I was like, 'Huh?' So I said, 'OK. Sure. I might have two innings in me.'"

And so he did. Motte had saved 58 games (counting the postseason) over the past two seasons. But all 58 of them had one thing in common: None of them were two-inning saves.

Uh, not anymore. He stomped to the mound, after four previous Cardinals pitchers had allowed 14 baserunners and zero 1-2-3 innings -- and just took over this game.

He blitzed through a 1-2-3 eighth inning in nine pitches. He rampaged through a 1-2-3 ninth inning in 10. And that was that. He was only the second reliever since 1989 who was not named Mariano Rivera to record a perfect postseason save of six outs or more. The other, according to Elias: Byung-Hyun Kim, in Game 4 of the 2001 NLCS.

But afterward, it was news to Motte that he'd done anything particularly historic. He couldn't even remember ever waiting out a rain delay before, he said.

"I don't even know what happened yesterday," he said. "I didn't even know what day it was today until someone told me. … It doesn't matter to me. My job is to go out and make pitches and execute. When they tell me to pitch, I take it one at-bat at a time, one guy at a time. And I don't really think about anything else."

Well, on this day, that was probably a good thing -- because if he'd thought about everything that could have gotten in the way of what might have been a series-turning victory, his brain cells might have overloaded.

But as we've noticed over these past two Octobers, nothing seems to slow down the Cardinals. Not blown shoulders or knee ligaments. Not 19-minute litter delays or 208-minute monsoon delays. Nothing.

"Is there anything," someone asked Lohse after this marathon was over, "that could faze this team?"

"I don't know," Lohse said. "And I hope we never find out."

http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2012...ts-game-3-nlcs
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:54 AM   #1857
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I'm thinking they are just delaying until this stupid shit show is over.
Haha, I thought the same thing last night as well. Stupid ****s just haaaad to watch thier gay Xfactor on time
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:58 AM   #1858
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WTF is it like to be like you assholes?
Every year is Our Time.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:31 AM   #1859
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Originally Posted by O.city View Post
I kinda hope the Pujols deal ends up turning out like the ARod deal has.
I'm not sure how it doesn't turn out that way, who knows for sure but that's where my money would be.
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Originally Posted by Reaper16 View Post
It's the kind of universally-recognizable suckage that can galvanize a nation. It's how America works: in order to distract us from the tragedy in Japan, we collectively turn to an even bigger tragedy.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:11 AM   #1860
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Originally Posted by veist View Post
I'm not sure how it doesn't turn out that way, who knows for sure but that's where my money would be.
It cracks me up how badly the Yankmees are screwed over this guy now. He's nothing at this point but a huge liability, the fans hate him, and they'll have to eat over $100 million to get rid of him. A little glimpse into the Angels' future, I think.

Except I think Albert will degrade far faster than ARod did.

What a ****ing tragedy.
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