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St. Louis Cardinals: 5 Reasons They'll Shock the Braves and Win the NL Wild Card

Lake CruiseAnalyst ISeptember 24, 2011

St. Louis Cardinals: 5 Reasons They'll Shock the Braves and Win the NL Wild Card

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    You may have heard the Milwaukee Brewers won their first division championship since 1982 when they were the Brew Crew—29 years ago—but have you heard the Cardinals are still alive for a postseason entry?

    If you haven't, then you'd better ask someone.

    The Cardinals lost to the Cubs on Friday night and handed the Milwaukee Brewers a gift-wrapped NL Central title, but St. Louis can still get it popping in the playoffs and shock their NL Central rivals.

    Join me on this brief-but-entertaining ride of reasoning, on the banks of the Mississippi River, thinking about how the Cards can pull off the impossible and win the NL Wild Card.

    Just don't put the Redbirds on the grill or choke on your popcorn just yet.

5. The Braves Are Choking Chickens

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    Half of the terrestrial globe thought the NL would come down to a brawl between Atlanta and Philadelphia, but the Braves haven't proven to be fearless world beaters.

    While they did in Stephen Strasburg on Friday night, the Braves winning out is far from guaranteed. They could shrivel up and move from softballs to golf balls.

4. The Giants Play Small Ball

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    San Francisco is chasing the Redbirds and the Braves, but the Giants don’t have much of an offense.

    Their pitchers are magnificent, yet ace Tim Lincecum is one of the least run-supported hurlers in the game. The Giants have tough division rivals Arizona and Colorado left and, after losing last night, San Francisco needs to win despite having a bunch of inept hitters.

3. The Redbirds' Remaining Schedule Reeks

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    The Cardinals have two of their weakest division rivals on the schedule for the residual games, and boy is the Redbirds bullpen glad...sort of.

    The Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros are the worst two teams in the Western Hemisphere—the Cardinals bullpen notwithstanding. Make a pick on which one you prefer, as all three seasons could soon retire to the pastures of postseason impossibility.

2. Tony LaRussa Could Retire

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    This could be LaRussa’s last go-around with the Cardinals, and the team wants to send him out to pasture on a good note. That note could be to the tune of an incredible September capped off with an improbable playoff run.

    Once in the postseason, anything is possible. The Cardinals won the World Series in 2006 with one of the worst regular season records ever for a champion. They now boast two of the hottest hitters in MLB.

1. Blazing Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman

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    With both players breaking through the .300 barrier, Berkman and Pujols have carried the Cardinals through September.

    When the weather began to cool, the Cardinals started to heat up—and the two outstanding hitters pictured here are big reasons why.

    One of the best switch-hitters in MLB history and one of the best right-handed hitters in the known world could go down in Redbirds' lore as one of the best duos the franchise has ever had.

    I'll be journalizing the juggernauts' journeys as teammates and you will stay tuned. That's an order. Keep your priorities in order and read me next time on this same network. You've been warned.

    Contact Lake Cruise: Lakecruise@att.net.

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