In the fall of 1982 the Cardinals split the first two games of the 1982 World Series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium.
The Redbirds went on the road and won the third game of the Fall Classic in convincing fashion and seemed destined to win the whole thing. But, after blowing a four-run lead in game five when an error by pitcher Dave LaPoint opened the door to a six-run Brewers inning, the Cardinals lost that contest and then seemed caught in quicksand as they dropped game five.
Like they do today, the Cardinals on Oct. 19, 1982 found themselves at home with their backs to the wall.
So here's what we can be optimistic about:
Inspired by the home crowd, the Redbirds bombed Milwaukee -- which was thought by many to be the much superior offensive team -- with 13 runs while a young pitcher, John Stuper, pitched a complete game four-hitter in which he allowed only a single run.
Tonight the Cardinals will send their youngest starter, Jaime Garcia, to the hill to try to tame the Rangers and force a game seven.
The Redbirds need to worry about winning tonight -- not about winning two games. If they can bring home game six, the advantage will be theirs in game seven. The Cardinals will have the home field advantage in game seven. The pressure will all be on Texas because, first, they have the monkey of losing the 2010 World Series on their back and, second, because they'll have the home crowd on their side.
Some fret that the Rangers will come back at the Cardinals with pitcher Derek Holland who tamed them in game four. Seriously? The Cardinals beat Roy Halladay and Yovani Gallardo and you're worried about Derek Holland, an up and down pitcher who pitched the game of his life earlier in the series. I tip my hat to the guy. But he has nowhere to go but down.
Besides, game seven of the World Series is the game that managers play like it's game seven of the World Series. In other words, all bets are off. Everyone is available and you're just going to have to be the better team on that day.
But we'll worry about that later. Tonight, the Cardinals only need to win one ballgame. And they're just where they like to be -- with their backs against the wall.