A never-say-die attitude.
The Cardinals appear to be in the midst of yet another miraculous run, reminiscent of how they won the World Series last season. Last night, they completed the largest comeback in a do-or-die postseason game in MLB history, erasing an early 6-0 deficit versus the young Nationals despite being down to their final strike in the ninth inning five times.
In reaching their seventh NLCS in the last 12 years, they continue to show that they are not just about stats, although they did have the fifth-most runs scored and eighth-best overall ERA in the regular season. The biggest threat they pose is their ability to come through when the season is on the line.
What makes this series so enticing is that the Giants are built the same way.
After everything they have gone through this season—from Melky Cabrera's suspension, to Tim Lincecum's first-half disappearing act, to losing the first two games of the NLDS at home in embarrassing fashion, to winning three straight games on the road against Cincinnati—the Giants have been incredible.
Their roster remains full of players from the 2010 World Series championship team, giving this series the look of an instant classic.
Ahead of Sunday's Game 1 in San Francisco's AT&T Park, here's a look at each team's lineup, pitching staff and intangibles that will determine who advances to the World Series.