It took all 162 games, but the Cardinals are the 2019 National League Central Division Champions! Sunday’s game against the Cubs (which was also Joe Maddon’s last game as the Cubs manager and that was expected) was a rout. Many thanks to the Colorado Rockies for beating the Milwaukee Brewers so that they couldn’t win the division. If the Brewers had won the division, the Cards would have had to play against the Nationals in the wild card game, with St. Louisan Max Scherzer on the mound.
The celebration in the locker room was epic. My favorite part was manager Mike Shildt’s speech. “We don’t have team meetings, but we have three meetings left – when we pop the champagne when we win the NLDS, when we pop the champagne when we win the NLCS, and when we pop the champagne when we win the World Series.” Or something very close to that, because I don’t remember the exact words. Anyway, from your lips to God’s ears, Mike. We would all love to see the Cardinals win their twelfth World Series in 2019. As I mentioned back in May, it would be awesome if the Blues won the Stanley Cup and the Cardinals win the World Series in the same year. They haven’t done that in Chicago – ever. What I and lots of old-time fans would really like to see is a Cardinals-Yankees World Series. The last time that happened was 1964 and the Cards won that World Series. An excellent book about the 1964 World Series is “October 1964” by the late David Halberstam.
It has been a long regular season, with many ups and downs. If you’re a regular reader of my blog (thank you), you know I’ve written about most of them. May was a particularly bad month for the Cardinals. But what matters the most is where a team finishes at the end of the season. One of my only complaints is that if the Cardinals had won a few more games during the season, it wouldn’t have to come down to the wire for them to win the division and the Cards could have breathed a little easier. But we’ve also seen what happens when there’s too much of a lull between a division win and the playoffs. Perhaps winning the division on the last day was for the best after all.
Jack Flaherty, he of the minuscule ERA and WHIP, won NL Pitcher of the Month yesterday for the second month in a row. Since he had to pitch on Sunday, Jack will start Friday’s game in Atlanta. Miles Mikolas will start Thursday’s game and Dallas Keuchel will be the starter for the Braves. The Friday game will start at 3:30 PM CST, but the time of Thursday’s game won’t be determined until the winner of the wild card game is decided. Sunday and Monday’s games will be at Busch Stadium. I do hope the fans in Atlanta are better behaved this year than during the Cards-Braves wild card game there in 2012 when they threw beer bottles at the Cards players.
Tickets for the National League Championship Series go on sale tomorrow at 12:00 noon CST. If you’re so inclined and have the money, you can purchase tickets at this link: cardinals.com/postseason. You must have an MLB account since the tickets will be delivered to the Ballpark app on your smartphone.
I follow the Grammarly app on Twitter, and they posted a poll on Twitter today asking what our favorite thing was in October (there were four choices). I replied as follows:
I hope you are excited about this postseason as I am! Thursday afternoon (or night) is so far away! Thanks for reading!