Last night, heading into the 9th inning against the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals trailed 4-0, and were on the verge of losing for the fifth time in their last seven games against those woeful Reds and the equally woeful Braves. It kinda looked like a swan song, and, with tongue in mustachioed cheek, I tweeted this:
Me watching the Cardinals lose repeatedly to the Braves and Reds. pic.twitter.com/L5vWlZFw52
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) August 9, 2016
I crashed before the game ended, knowing I was going to miss my chance to do the usual “#CardinalsLose” tweet, but I was cool with that. At some point, it’s just dancing on the grave, isn’t it?
Except then the Reds bullpen did as the Reds bullpen does, and, with two outs, the Cardinals came all the way back to score five runs – including the tying run on a bases-loaded walk, and the winning run on a bases-loaded hit by pitch.
Sound vaguely familiar?
If you can stomach it, read the recaps at Cardinals.com, and you’re going to see a whole lot of the same talk as we were seeing last weekend when the Cubs pulled off their own miracle, head-shaking comeback win against the Mariners (though the Cardinals’ win was even less probable – their win expectancy fell to just 0.4% with two outs in the 9th; the Cubs’ low point against the Mariners was 1.6%).
After that Cubs win, which followed a bit of an up-and-down stretch for the team, Joe Maddon mentioned that it was the kind of thing that can get a team turned around. Sure enough, the Cubs haven’t lost since. Coincidence? Maybe. A little extra energy burst and confidence, especially late in games? Maybe. The Cubs did win another crazy late one just a few days later against the Marlins.
Is that about to happen to the Cardinals now?
It would be awfully Cardinals, after all. Certainly more Cardinals than whatever it was they were doing over the past couple weeks when they lost 9 of 15, mostly against very beatable teams.
Having won that game, the Cardinals pulled back into a tie with the Marlins for the second Wild Card spot in the NL, which seems to be the most likely battle they’ll be fighting down the stretch. After all, even after the win, the Cardinals are still 11.0 games behind the Cubs here in August. A comeback of those proportions is as unlikely as …
… well, I won’t finish that thought.