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We know there's a really amazing playoff chase going on in the American League, and don't worry, we don't think anyone's going to overlook it and forget to write about it, but we feel obliged to ask: Has anybody noticed what's going on with the St. Louis Cardinals? After clinching the NL Central in Wrigley Field a week-and-a-half ago, the Birds have lost seven of nine, almost single-handedly giving the Astros the wild-card spot and probably frittered away both Chris Carpenter's Cy Young chances and Albert Pujols' MVP hopes. They now have to sweep the Reds this weekend to win 100 games and will likely face a potentially scary Jake Peavy and the Padres in the first round of the playoffs. Oh, and everyone on the team is hurt.

Not to sound alarmist here — our Cardinals loyalties are not well-hidden — but anyone else concerned?

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Cardnilly: Dood. Carp. You re starting to scare me a bit here. Well, more than a bit, actually. But! I retain my confidence that postseason adrenaline will provide energy and focus where professionalism and the support of a home crowd cannot. Or maybe he s injured. I dunno. I got nuthin here.
Bellyitcher: If Anyone's Looking For Me ... I'll be crying softly in the corner.
The Birdwatch: Let's try not to work ourselves into too much of a lather over the next few days, because there's some serious getting worked up to be done in a few weeks. We finally have a chance to end the year of "What happened to the Cardinals" and "I bet you're upset about the Cardinals" and "Are the Cardinals going to choke again this year" and a chance to win one last world series at Busch. Those are two heavy psychic weights on either end of the balance, which leads me to believe that this post season will be an extra tense version of last years nail-ripping ordeal.
Viva El Birdos: ok, not funny. just in time for the playoffs, the can't-get-em-out fever has finally made its way to st louis' ace. first it got mulder, then marquis, then morris; we thought carp was immune, but we thought wrong.

And us? We're too scared to get out from under our desk.

You Didn't See Nuthin' [Cardnilly]