These two teams have played each other so evenly over the first five games of the World Series that it has easily become the most exciting baseball championship since 2002, the last time the Series went seven games.
While the Rangers took a 3-2 series advantage with their Game 5 victory in Arlington Monday night, the scene will now shift back to Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals will seek to force a seventh and deciding game to give an exciting finale to the 2011 season.
As a baseball fan, you shouldn't just hope for a seventh game (not you, Rangers fans, we know you're certainly not hoping for one), you should expect it.
Why? Because these two clubs are special. So you're thinking, "Yeah, so are all teams that make it to the World Series." But even among the elite teams that make it to the Fall Classic, these two are playing with a fierce focus that makes for memorable baseball.
The Cardinals were 8.5 games out of first place on September 1, yet went 18-8 to clinch a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season. Having faced elimination on so many occasions already, including the last days of the regular season, followed by Game 5 of the NLDS against Philadelphia, this team is accustomed to playing with its season on the line with every pitch.
The Rangers are facing enormous pressure over the next two games, as no team has appeared in three-straight World Series since the 1998-2001 Yankees, and the Rangers are still looking for that first championship ring.
Game 6 will feature two starting pitchers that tossed gems as they competed against one another in Game 2. Jaime Garcia went seven scoreless innings for the Cardinals, while Colby Lewis went 6.2 and allowed just one run on four hits.
With those quality arms on the hill, and two juggernaut offenses clashing again Wednesday night, look for fireworks, and given the narrative of this penultimate series so far, look for a Red Bird win, forcing a decisive and dramatic finish to 2011.