Cardinals Shot Down in DC


RJ Radil

The St. Louis Cardinals missed the playoffs from 2016-2018, and the front office finally decided to do something about it. After trading for Paul Goldschmidt, a superstar first baseman, the Cardinal’s 2019 season was highly anticipated. the first half of the season was disappointing, to say the least. It wasn’t looking good as Marcell Ozuna went down with an injury for over a month and big names such as Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter struggled at the plate. Our pitching staff, led by Jack Flaherty, was phenomenal as they held us in the hunt while our offense struggled all year. The Cardinal’s regular season ended dramatically as they clinched their first Central Division title in three years on the last day of the season.

Going into the National League Divison Series, the Cardinals were underdogs to the powerhouse Braves team. They were able to defeat the Braves in five games due to an outburst of ten runs in the first inning of game 5. The Cardinal’s sluggers Marcell Ozuna and Paul Goldschmidt led them through the NLDS by hitting over .400 and hitting two home runs each. This proved to be unsustainable once the NLCS rolled around.

After watching The Cardinals lose the first three games of the National League Championship Series while only scoring two runs, my faith in them had, for the most part, been depleted. I was miserable watching game three on Monday night and when I woke up the next morning, I felt the same way.

As game time for game four started to approach, I began to feel a little more excitement and belief. I believed that if we could win game four, we would be able to beat Anibal Sanchez in game five. That would give us a shot to play at Busch Stadium with the season on the line. Unfortunately, that belief and excitement was thwarted in the first inning when the Nationals scored seven runs.

The Cardinals looked dead until Yadier Molina hit a solo home run in the fourth inning. This started the Cardinal’s unsuccessful push to tie the game. Jose Martinez drove in two meaningless runs in the next inning and things were starting to look up as we were only down three runs. Matt Carpenter later stranded three base runners in the eighth as the Nationals now had the finish line in sight.

This was rock bottom. This is when I knew I would be seeing the Nationals celebrate a sweep at the Cardinal’s expense in a few short moments. This was an unpleasant feeling to say the least and when the time came, I turned off the TV before I could see the Nationals celebrate.

Earlier today, after the loss sunk in, I reflected on the St. Louis Cardinals season and can now appreciate the journey instead of getting upset at the results. Throughout the 2019 season, the Cardinals developed the best bullpen in the National league, committed the fewest errors, and stole the most bases in the National League. All three categories displayed major improvements from the 2018 season. We weren’t supposed to beat the Braves or win our division. The Cardinals accomplished a lot more than many thought they were capable of. They may not have accomplished their supreme goal, but it was still a successful year for the Redbirds.