The St. Louis Cardinals were predictably unpredictable during the 2012 regular season.
With a maddeningly inefficient offense, the Cards struggled in one-run contests with a record of 21-26, while finding comfort in crushing opponents by five or more runs (31-17).
And in splitting the first two games of the NLDS with the Washington Nationals, the Cards were true to form.
After letting the Nats off the hook in a 3-2 Game 1 loss, the Cardinals flexed their muscles Monday night, battering Jordan Zimmerman and six Washington relievers in a 12-4 laugher.
The Nationals leave the Gateway City with a two-game split and probably feel fortunate to do so.
For the Cardinals, it means they were one game-breaking hit away from a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
But as the postseason comes to the Washington, D.C. area for the first time since 1933, the Cardinals have the Nats right where they want them.
Here are three reasons why.