With all this talk of baseball teams making the playoffs, I haven't given fair attention to the St. Louis Cardinals, who are avoiding clinching the NL Central the way Brian Urlacher avoids condoms. Just to recap, a week ago the Astros were in third place, 8.5 games out of first. The Cardinals were looking at a magic number of six. One seven-game winning streak and one seven-game losing streak later, the Astros are 1.5 games back and the Cards still have a magic number of six. Last night was especially painful, as ace Chris Carpenter blew a 5-2 lead in the 7th inning.
Part of me feels really bad for Cardinals fans, but a much larger part of me enjoys the pageantry of this potentially historic meltdown. This is just like the tortoise and the hare, only instead of a lame fable it's a totally fucking awesome real-life drama with human agony televised every night and Tony LaRussa's job on the line. I'm preparing the Matt Millen Award for Extraordinary Incompetence as I write this.
Astros fans: don't get too excited. You still have Brad Lidge.