IN THE NEWS: How Cardinals went from wild card to World Series

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | 4:17 p.m. CDT; updated 10:44 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The St. Louis Cardinals rode a wave of momentum into the playoffs and now find themselves in the World Series, their first since 2006.  It will be the third World Series that manager Tony LaRussa and slugger Albert Pujols have been in together, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It looked as though the Cardinals were not going to make the playoffs but a crazy last day of the regular season resulted in a wild card berth.

In the first round, the Cardinals would have to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, which had the best record in baseball at 102-60. The Phillies series would go five games. In Game 5, Chris Carpenter had one of the best games of his career, according to USA Today. He pitched a complete game shutout in Philadelphia, and the Cardinals won 1-0.

The next team to face St. Louis was the Milwaukee Brewers. According to a Washington Post's blog, The Early Lead, the six-game series between these two teams was essentially won by the Cardinals bullpen, which only gave up four runs in 24 2/3 innings of work in the series. The sixth and decisive game was a slugfest won by the Cardinals, according to The Guardian. A total of six home runs were hit in the first three innings alone.

The Cardinals now face an unfamiliar foe — the Texas Rangers. The two teams haven’t played each other since 2004.

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