Scanning the blogs following the Cardinals' 3-1 win over the Mets in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series ...
• Go Crazy, Folks. Unbelievable. When Yadier hit his blast, I jumped off my couch, fell down on the carpet and was doing snow angels. When Wainwright (who apparently has learned a lot from Izzy) struck Beltran out to end it, let's just say I just hope my neighbors weren't trying to sleep. How wrong the entire world, myself included, were. And right now, Jeff Suppan is my favorite Cardinal.
• The 26th Man. Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket. If I didn't see it, I wouldn't have believed it. The worst hitter on the team supplies the biggest hit of the season. All during the NLCS, the Cardinals have been rolling the dice with house money. And we hit on a hard 9. Unbelievable. I'm going to pour a beer on myself.
• Faith And Fear In Flushing. Well, damn. Congratulations to the Cardinals and their fans. If you'd been told we'd get that pitching performance from Oliver Perez, you'd have taken it. That we'd give up three runs? You'd have taken it. That we'd hold Pujols at bay all night? Ditto. And if we'd been told it would come down to bases loaded, a dunker away from tying it and a gapper away from the World Series and Carlos Beltran at the plate, you'd have taken that too. (And if I ever meet Endy Chavez, I'm buying him a beer for a catch that will always have me leaning closer to the TV in disbelief.)
• Get Up, Baby. YES. Yadier! Supp! Everybody else! Your 2006 National League Champions, the Last Gasp of MV3, the Best of the Worst, the Masters of the Mediocre, Pasters of the Padres, Maddeners of the Mets, Terrifiers of the Tigers! Long may they reign! I'm not going to pretend to analyze anything here. Yadier Molina just pulled a pitch into the seats. He grinned like Charlie Brown after sex. He rounded the bases, and then Adam Wainwright showed everything he learned from Izzy, from the maddening walks to buckling down and showing a cartoon curveball when it matters most. What should've happened didn't. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are going to the World Series. I've never been happier to be so wrong.
• Shea Nation. My blame rests completely on the Mets offense. They had plenty of opportunities to break the game open with two innings each in which the bases were loaded. The ninth inning strike out of Cliff Floyd was just good pitching on the part of their rookie closer. But the two strikeouts of David Wright and Carlos Beltran rests on them because I personally feel that they could have made something out of it. There is no crying in baseball, so the whole Mets fan base, Mets Trades and Shea Nation will just have to suck it up and begin to cover the off season a little earlier than expected.