The Cardinals have been to the World Series in three of the previous nine years and brought home the trophy twice in that span. The team’s most recent postseason berth marks the 10th time since 2000 that the Cardinals have extended their season into October.
On seven of those occasions, the Cardinals have made it past the division series.
They have now won the National League Central division eight times since 2000.
As the Cardinals begin yet another playoff run, it’s time to look back not only at what got them there but at what it will take to keep playing deep into October.
In previous years, they have been able to thank stellar pitching, good clubhouse chemistry and even a gritty Chris Carpenter for pushing them to their true potential.
This year’s team has looked very different. Gone are the mammoth multi-home run games of Albert Pujols and the raw passion of Carpenter on the mound.
The 2013 Cardinals had no 30-home run hitter for the first time since 1995. The times have changed, and this team is playing a different style of baseball.
Can they keep it up for another month? First, they have to fend off the Pittsburgh Pirates who will have a fanbase energized like none we’ve seen in years.
The following are 10 things that need to happen for the Cardinals to win the NLDS and continue pushing toward their 12th World Series.