I'm not really into silver linings and I don't want to sell the Cardinals short.
But even if they don't win the World Series in 2013, the Redbirds have already accomplished way more than most people thought they would even before things started to fall apart in spring training.
How many teams could lose one of their two best starting pitchers, their starting shortstop and their closer for the ENTIRE season and still win their division?
After they weathered those storms, the Cardinals then lost two more starting pitchers -- Jaime Garcia who was 5-2 with a 3.58 ERA when he was lost for the season after nine appearances and Jake Westbrook who started off red hot but then gradually fell apart and was shut down after 20 starts -- then rookie starting pitcher John Gast who was called up to fill in. Mitchell Boggs, the brilliant set-up man in 2012 who was projected to fill in for Motte was never effective and was eventually given away in trade. Down the stretch top RBI man Allen Craig hurt his ankle and third string close Edward Mujica, who led the National League in saves, has been shelved after suddenly becoming ineffective.
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Because of all the injuries the Cardinals were forced to use a parade of rookies. And almost all of them were able to contribute on a major level.
Usually a parade of rookies means a parade of losses. But the Cardinals not only were able to get production out of their youngsters during the season, they were able to get them major league experience that will come in handy now that the intensity has increased.
While the Cardinals were employed their kids, they ran down the Dodgers and the Braves to push for the best record in the National League and home field advantage in the playoffs. Los Angeles may have the flashier names and the Braves may have run and hid from their division opponents. But there is no reason the Redbirds can't beat anyone between them and their goal of a 12 World Series championship.