It is perhaps no longer appropriate to talk about the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals as a current baseball team. As of late Wednesday night, there are no current baseball teams, with all teams now to be referred to in the past tense. In the end, the Cardinals came up just short of the Red Sox, and though they lost the finale by five runs, they did manage to strand runner after runner against John Lackey and bits of the Boston bullpen. It was a theme for the Cardinals in the World Series — though they didn’t perform much worse than Boston at the plate, their timing was worse, and as Dave noted earlier Thursday, the Cardinals were let down by a lack of timeliness that had driven them all regular season long.
Oddly and interestingly, some semblance of Cardinals magic was with them in October. In the playoffs, with runners in scoring position, the Cardinals batted just .259 with a .701 OPS. Those numbers aren’t particularly good, but in the playoffs, with the bases empty, those same Cardinals batted a woeful .190 with a .522 OPS. On the one hand, the Cardinals weren’t automatic in run-scoring situations, like they were during the year. On the other, they still significantly elevated their performance, and this gets to a subject most perplexing.
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