The Saint Louis Cardinals won the World Series, defeating the Detroit Tigers 4-2 to take the Major League Baseball Championship, 4 games to 1! The scrappy 83-78 team that was given up for dead before the playoffs began defeated the San Diego Padres and then the superior New York Mets to win the league championship and now, after walloping Detroit, they have their 10th Series championship, placing them second after the New York Yankees in baseball history.
I especially have to give it to the starters. Jeff Weaver, Anthony Reyes and Jeff Suppan all pitched far above what they showed all season, and Chris Carpenter returned to his mid-season form with a combined shutout. The closers also pitched far above their regular season form, especially their late season performances, when the team fell into a swoon and nearly lost their division. The position players also really played superbly, getting hits when they really needed it, and never letting up. Series MVP David Eckstein (a towering 5'7") set the pace by batting .364 and driving in 4 runs, but Scott Rolen and Yadier Molina, who had the lowest average of any regular season starter in the league at .216, also got on base repeatedly and finished with a .412 average. Albert Pujols was able to slack off a bit after carrying his teammates for much of the season (his 19 regular season homers (out of a total of 49) to put the Cardinals in the lead and win games was one of the highest totals since this stat has been recorded.)
But it wasn't only the Cardinals' great play, though; the young and unseasoned Detroit team's many errors were crucial. Luck always plays a role, and the Cardinals capitalized on almost opportunity. In fact, had Manager Tony LaRussa taken a different tack in the second game, in Detroit, the Cardinals very could have wrapped it up in 4 games instead of 5. But 5 was perfect.
The Cardinals usually have their World Series trips bunched up every 20 years, and they usually win at least one, so I'm glad they did it this year!
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
C A R D I N A L S!!!