Those of us that were busy composing the official obituary for the postseason prospects of the St. Louis Cardinals have spent the last two games scratching our heads and eating our words. It seems pretty clear that we have severely underestimated the possible effectiveness of this baseball team.
Of course, no one that spends way too much time on websites like this one, thinking about and writing about sports, ever wants to admit that it is possible that we might be wrong. So, since I definitely won't be doing that, here's my explanation for what has happened during the last two of the Cardinals' games.
It seems obvious to me that a UFO from some unknown planet landed outside of Busch Stadium late Tuesday night, abducted all of the real current members of the St. Louis' beloved baseball team, and replaced them with a team of realistic looking alien clones, who are currently playing wearing the team's uniform.
That is the only rational explanation that I have been able to come up with that could possibly account for the team's last two unlikely Cards victories.
Tonight's 5-2 win against the San Francisco Giants featured plenty of weirdness that would validate such a theory. Todd Wellemeyer, who is generally terrible, pitched seven solid innings of quality shut out baseball. Things got a little messy for him in the 8th, giving up a two run home run to Aaron Rowand, but overall, the Cardinals' pitching in this game was more impressive than its been in quite some time.
Also, very atypically, none of the runs in this game or the last one have been driven in by Albert Pujols. With a mix of walks and strikeouts, the Giants have pretty well neutralized the surefire 2009 MVP winner's contributions to his team. However, surprisingly, this tactic has not taken the Cardinals out of these last two atypical games.
It has been both nice and surprising to see Ryan Ludwick give a convincing performance as a real clean up hitter the last couple of days. He drove in one run last night, and two in this game. Brendan Ryan and Skip Schumaker also had good nights at the plate. Even the presence of Chris Duncan starting in left field couldn't screw this game up for the Redbirds.
Thanks to this welcomed extraterrestrial interference, the Cardinals have won two games in a row and are tied with the Brewers for first place in the National League Central.
Until the All Star break, the Cards are strictly visiting division rivals; the Reds, the Brewers and the Cubs. Here's to hoping the alien clones show up to these games instead of the actual, mostly undependable players from the Cardinals.