It’s been less than a week since the St. Louis Cardinals were removed from the playoffs by the San Francisco Giants winning Games 5, 6, and 7 of the National League Championship Series. What seemed on the morning of October 19th as inevitable, that the Cardinals would be playing for their 12th World Series championship in 2012, failed to come to pass thanks to shaky starting pitching and a slumping offense.
Over the final three games of the NLCS, the Giants outscored the Cardinals 20-1. They did exactly what they’d done just a series earlier to the Cincinnati Reds. In the National League Divisional Series against the Reds, the Reds won the first two games of the best of five series in San Francisco. Over the final 3 games of the series in Cincinnati, the Giants won all three games. They’d survived with their backs against the wall once, they could do it again.
Going into Game 7, the media portrayed the game as two teams who refused to give up. The Cardinals rode a six game winning streak in games where a loss would have eliminated them from the playoffs. The Giants had won five straight, all in 2012. But unlike Game 5 of the NLDS where the Cardinals got down 6-0 to a young and inexperienced Washington Nationals club, the Giants are a veteran team whose key players had been there before. They weren’t likely to collapse like the Nationals did. And they didn’t.