It's not that the Cardinals lost game seven. Or games five and six, for that matter.
It's how they lost that is so disturbing.
The Redbirds absolutely fell to pieces after taking a commanding three games to one lead in the National League Championship Series against the Giants. The offense was awful, the pitching was ineffective and the defense was an embarrassment.
It's difficult to comprehend how a team that won the World Series in dramatic fashion in 2011 -- and that beat Atlanta in the wild card game this season before making a stunning comeback to beat Washington in the National League Division Series could wilt so easily under pressure.
The Giants simply seemed to want to win much more than the Cardinals did. Maybe they were satisfied to have one World Series ring already. But the Redbirds veterans just didn't seem very focused or motivated.
While some have Tweeted and blogged that the Cardinals deserve to be congratulated on making it so deep into the playoffs, I can't help but feel fans were cheated by their complete lack of competitiveness in the last three games of the NLCS.
If they lost 6-5 in hard fought games, I could tip my cap to the players and concede that you just can't win them all. But getting drubbed 21-1 with extremly sloppy play is just not something I can feel good about.