I can honestly say, I would have waited a lot longer for this day to come.
The Cardinals playing the Cubs in the post season is something many in each fan base want. I’m comfortable saying Cubs fans were/are more eager to see this happen than Cardinals fans. Why? Because it meant they were in the playoffs, something that doesn’t happen all that often.
As an aside, I found it hilarious the announcers Wednesday night felt compelled to tell us, ‘this is the first playoff series the Cubs have won since 2003!’ Enjoy your success Cubs Nation, we salute you winning something meaningful every 10 years.
This series is win-win for Chicago. If they lose, well, they are the young upstarts who charged into the playoffs earlier than expected. If they win, they knock off the Hated Cardinals – which, apparently, is a Capt Ahab-style quest in some quarters (looking at you, Deadspin).
This series is kind of lose-lose for the Cardinals. Win, and that’s really what’s expected given regular season success. Lose, and this fanbase will never hear the end of it. Even though we have DOMINATED this rivalry for 50+ years, a Cubs victory will become the trump card of all trump cards to end any argument.
“you guys haven’t even been to the World Series since 1945!”
“So? We beat YOU in the playoffs, didn’t we?”
Normally I would put my faith in the battle tested team in these situations. But I’m not so confident this year. Why?
- St Louis stumbled down the stretch against their main NL Central rivals
- Jon Lester had a playoff hex placed on the Cardinals in 2013, which may not have been removed
- The myriad of injuries this team is still fighting to recover from: Holliday, Adams, Piscotty, Grichuk, MOLINA, da dum da dum da dum
- Wacha’s control problems
- No Carlos Martinez
And so on.
The best news – besides Wainwright making the post-season roster – is that we only have to face Jake Arrieta once in this series. It is a LARGE comfort to know St Louis can win the series without beating Arrieta.
We will know right away how this series will go. For the first time I can remember Game 1 is a must win. It is absolutely essential St Louis holds serve at home. If Lackey and Co can find a way to beat Lester our odds of winning increase dramatically. Really Game 2 is must-win as well, but life gets a lot easier with one in the bag. Put the pressure on that Savant Maddon, and the former
San Diego Boston front office.
Really how Game 1 goes will determine whether I watch this series through my fingers or not. And whether or not I post lookouts to warn of the Four Horsemen’s impending arrival.