After winning in 2006 and 2011, if the Cardinals continue the trends, they’ll bring home another this year

Almost ten years ago, on October 27th, 2006 Adam Wainwright threw a pitch caught by Yadier Molina that struck out Brandon Inge and won the Cards the World Series. That year the Cardinals held an 83-78 record, had two eight game losing streaks, lost nine out of the last twelve games, but beat out the Astros for the NL Central by a game. The Cardinals had the 13th best record in baseball during the regular season, and the third worst ever record for a playoff team. They beat the Padres in the NLDS in four games. Then took on the Mets, who finished the season with 14 more wins. The Cardinals took them to game 7, and up by two runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded, Wainwright struck out Carlos Beltran, and the Cards went on to beat the Tigers in 5 games, to win their first World Series since 1982.

Then, in 2011, after being 10.5 games behind the Braves for the wildcard spot on August 24th, the Cardinals went 23-9 over their last 32 games, and beat the Braves out by one game after Atlanta lost in a thirteen inning game on the last day of the season. The Cardinals took the first series from the Phillies in five games, ending in a 1-0 win with ace Chris Carpenter taking on Roy Halladay. Then the Cardinals beat Milwaukee in 6 to advance to the World Series, and you all know the rest. In Game 6 Freeze hits a two out, two strike triple to tie it up in the bottom of the ninth, Berkman saves it again in the 10th, Freeze hits a walk off homer in the 11th, and the Cardinals go on to win Game 7.

Flash forward five years and we are here. The makeup of the team is completely different. Just Molina and Wainwright are left from that 2006 squad. But what’s the same is the identity of the team, the passion and energy of Cardinal fans, and the fact that there was a five year gap since the last time the team won. The Cardinals have the experience, the leadership, the pitching, and the lineup to go out and win again. Competition will be stiff this year, and injuries could get in the way. But if the Cardinals stay healthy, the young guys are able to step into their roles, and the team does as it always has, we could be in for another unbelievable and crazy year.