With one more victory or a Los Angeles Dodgers loss, the St. Louis Cardinals will clinch their second trip to the postseason in as many years. Now, is there a chance their journey might only last one day with a loss to the Atlanta Braves in Friday's wild-card play-in game spelling doom for the defending World Series champions? Yes. Yes there is.
But at least the Cardinals are probably going to reach that one-game chance, which is more than you can say for their old pal Albert Pujols. (Don't Call Me) El Hombre and his Los Angeles Angels were eliminated from postseason contention when Oakland sealed its win over Texas on Monday, ensuring that Pujols will have extra time this fall to spend the $240 million that lured him to Disneyland last offseason.
As you might imagine, this fact is playing pretty well in Peoria:
Regardless of what happens the next few days, St. Louis fans have to feel a little bit vindicated for not completely losing it when Pujols flew the Cardinals coop for richer pastures. Though there were plenty of sayonaras like the one above, the fan base's party line was that the franchise was strong enough to survive the departure and they've been more or less proven right. That's not to say the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals would not have been a better team with Pujols around, just that they were able to withstand the (correct) decision not to commit so much money to an aging superstar reasonably well.
Now excuse a few of their fans while they gloat about it a bit ...