Most teams that have a 3-1 series lead in the playoffs can get the job done and move on to the next round. On Monday night, the St. Louis Cardinals got to join the likes of the 2003 Chicago Cubs and most recently the 2007 Cleveland Indians in an epic playoff collapse.
The Cardinals didn’t just lose the last three games, they got destroyed along the way in being outscored 20-1. It felt like as the game wore on that all the magic St. Louis had last season in late comebacks against Texas in the World Series was being washed away in the San Francisco night. Maybe the loss of Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols came back to bite the Cardinals but a ton of credit has to be given to the Giants pitching staff. There are not a lot of teams who are going to be able to compete with the likes of Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum.
Game 7 though will be about the failures of the Cardinal hitters, who had seemingly no chance against Cain or anyone in the Giants’ bullpen as the downpour began late in the game. The formula is still there for St. Louis with the fact they were one game away from having a chance to defend their World Series championship. It will be up to Mike Matheny to figure out what the next move is now for his team and how the Cardinals get over this collapse before the 2013 season begins in April.