Yadier Molina
(Bill Kostroun)
Yadier Molina's two-run blast in the ninth broke a 1-1 tie.
The In-Card-ibles
After a classic Game 7, the 83-win Cardinals somehow find themselves in the World Series, writes Jayson Stark. Story

• Cards prevail, 3-1 ... ESPN Video | Keith Law: A 'Brian Doyle' moment Insider
• Amy Nelson: Mets' bats go AWOL | Short Hops: Familiar foes
• Playoffs in Pictures | Baseball Tonight: MVP Suppan is super ESPN Video
Keith Law on the Cardinals
"If they do manage [to win], it'll take unexpected performances from their non-Chris Carpenter starters, minimal use of their bullpen, and better showings from the guys around Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen (and, if healthy, Jim Edmonds)."
• Law's complete team reports: Cardinals Insider | Mets Insider
Inside Edge
• Jeff Suppan: Report Card | Postgame report
• Oliver Perez: Report Card | Postgame report
• Updated hitter rankings: Cardinals | Mets
• Rosters: Cards Insider | Mets Insider | Hitter/pitcher: NYM | STL
Thursday, October 19
Neyer: Oliver Perez is the worst Game 7 starter ever Insider
After reviewing the data, Rob Neyer came to this inescapable conclusion: Oliver Perez is almost certainly the worst pitcher who's ever started a Game 7.
Olney: Looking for a Game 7 hero Insider
Who will be the hero -- Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Jeff Suppan? Whoever it is will be remembered forever.
Inside Edge: Did Mets pick the right Oliver? Insider
Inside Edge takes a closer look at the Mets' decision to start Oliver Perez over Darren Oliver in Game 7.
Wednesday, October 18
Stark: Mets force Game 7 thanks to many heroes
The Mets beat the Cardinals in Game 6 of the NLCS thanks to many heroes -- especially Jose Reyes, writes Jayson Stark.
Nelson: Cardinals say Suppan is unflappable
With their season on the line in Game 7, the Cardinals will hand the ball with superior confidence to veteran righty Jeff Suppan.
Law: Cardinals' hitters fail Insider
Although Chris Carpenter pitched a great game, the Cardinals' hitters let Mets starter John Maine off the hook.
Game 7 starters: Suppan for Cardinals, Perez for Mets
While the Cardinals were set up to start Jeff Suppan in a potential Game 7 on Thursday, the Mets were still unsure which member of their patchwork pitching staff would get the ball.
History on Tigers' side as wait for Series foe rolls on
As if the Detroit Tigers don't have enough going for them, consider this: The last six teams that started the World Series with five or more days of rest all went on to win.
Inside Edge: How Carpenter, Maine can improve Insider
Inside Edge takes a closer look at the Game 6 starters -- Chris Carpenter and John Maine.
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Tuesday, October 17
Stark: Cardinals on the verge of historic upset
The Cardinals are one win away from the World Series -- and making history.
Short Hops: La Russa's decisions pay off in a big way
A wrap-up of Tuesday's championship series action in Major League Baseball.
Nelson: Glavine lets his game do the talking
Tom Glavine remained respectful even after giving up a home run to Albert Pujols, who'd given him little credit for a victory days earlier.
Law: Cardinals' bullpen delivers Insider
The Cardinals steal a win behind their worst starter, while the Mets lose one behind their alleged ace, putting St. Louis in a perfect position to capture the series.
La Russa: Carpenter will return to form in Game 6
Chris Carpenter, who has piled up more than 500 innings the last two seasons, insists fatigue was no factor in his laborious Game 2 start in the NL Championship Series.
Inside Edge: Comparing the NLCS closers Insider
Inside Edge takes a closer look at the closers, Billy Wagner and Adam Wainwright, heading into Game 5 of the NLCS.
Pujols 'just going to be careful' with hamstring injury
Albert Pujols is trying to protect his injured right hamstring by playing conservatively during the NL Championship Series.
Monday, October 16
Stark: Mets still believe despite not-so-Amazin' rotation
Despite their patchwork rotation, the Mets remain confident they can get past the Cardinals, writes Jayson Stark.
Inside Edge: Glavine, Weaver hook up again for NLCS Game 5 Insider
NLCS Game 1 starters Tom Glavine and Jeff Weaver face each other again in Game 5, this time on three days' rest.
Olney: Rainout would help the Mets Insider
An extra day off is a huge benefit for the Mets' Tom Glavine, who's never performed well on three days' rest.
La Russa: Pujols' hamstring limiting his power stroke
Albert Pujols has been nursing a right hamstring injury for several weeks and is under orders to run under control. Manager Tony La Russa said the injury also has affected Pujols' ability to drive the ball.
El Duque says he can pitch if Mets reach World Series
Orlando Hernandez said he felt strong enough to pitch in the World Series, should the Mets get that far, after a bullpen session on Sunday in St. Louis.
Sunday, October 15
Stark: Delgado-led Mets dial up a big offensive night
With Carlos Delgado leading the charge, the Mets' offense exploded in Game 4 to even the NLCS at two games apiece.
Nelson: Perez's effort jump-starts Mets
The Mets took a leap of faith in Oliver Perez, and he paid off with a winning effort in Game 4.
Short Hops: Mets bust out the whuppin' sticks
A wrap-up of Sunday's Championship Series action in Major League Baseball.
Law: No relief for Cardinals Insider
The real culprits behind the explosion of runs in Game 4 were the Cardinals' middle reliever.
Glavine, Weaver to start Game 5 on three days' rest
A rainout of the NLCS opener meant the first five games would be played without a day off. It also left Mets lefty Tom Glavine and the Cardinals' Jeff Weaver scheduled to start on three days' rest in Game 5 on Monday night.
Mets unsure of Trachsel's status for remainder of NLCS
The Mets were unsure about pitcher Steve Trachsel's availability for the rest of the series because of a bruised right thigh.
Inside Edge: Mets' Perez must pound curve inside on RHBs Insider
Inside Edge highlights the things NLCS Game 4 starters Oliver Perez and Anthony Reyes must do to be effective.
Olney: Mets enter great unknown
Heading into Game 4, Mets starter Oliver Perez will either be the next incredible surprise, or he will be the manifestation of the Mets' failure to trade for an established veteran starter before the trade deadline.
Saturday, October 14
Stark: Meet Jeff Suppan, the Cards' new HR hero
Jeff Suppan's rare exploits with the bat and with his arm stuck the Mets with a 2-1 series deficit.
Nelson: Spiezio is at his best in the postseason
Rock star or baseball player, crazy or sane, Scott Spiezio at least seems to have figured out his identity as a postseason hero.
Law: Lack of plate patience sinks Mets Insider
The Mets' hitters were impatient, partly a function of Jeff Suppan's control, and perhaps partly a function of their dismay at watching Steve Trachsel struggle mightily.
Inside Edge: Beltran ready for Suppan Insider
Inside Edge takes a closer look at how Carlos Beltran fares against Cardinals right-handers like Jeff Suppan, who starts Game 3.
Friday, October 13
Stark: Taguchi homers his way into October lore
So Taguchi joined the list of unlikely October heroes in Game 2, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Cardinals.
Nelson: Friday the 13th proves nightmarish for Wagner
Giving up three runs in the ninth inning to the Cardinals, Billy Wagner's Friday the 13th was anything but routine
Law: Mets' bullpen has a meltdown Insider
The Mets' bullpen is now fried, and Willie Randolph's excessive loyalty to Guillermo Mota cost the Mets what should have been an easy win.
La Russa rips media for report of Pujols ripping Glavine
After going 0-for-3 in Game 1 of the NLCS, Albert Pujols told the media that Mets starter Tom Glavine "wasn't that good," despite the 40-year-old lefthander throwing seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over St. Louis.
Spiezio replaces struggling Rolen in Game 2 lineup
Scott Rolen, who's 1-for-14 in the postseason while dealing with a sore left shoulder, was not in the Cardinals' lineup for Game 2 of the NL Championship Series.
Injured Floyd out of Game 2 lineup, could pinch-hit
Cliff Floyd wasn't in the starting lineup for Game 2 of the NLCS after reinjuring his left Achilles tendon in the opener against St. Louis.
Thursday, October 12
Stark: Beltran again homer-happy against Cards
With one gigantic blast in Game 1, Carlos Beltran continued his total domination of St. Louis in the postseason.
Nelson: Chavez quickly becoming a fan favorite
Endy Chavez has become a favorite of Mets fans, and he'll play a pivotal role with Cliff Floyd out indefinitely.
Law: Pitchers benefit from wider zone Insider
Tom Glavine's command enabled him to capitalize the most on an expanded strike zone.
Changeup: Cards' Carpenter to start Game 2 of NLCS
Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter will start Game 2 of the NL championship series against the Mets on Friday instead of the third game, with St. Louis manager Tony La Russa making the switch a day after the opener was rained out.
Inside Edge: Mets' Reyes in rare form Insider
Inside Edge takes a closer look at Mets shortstop Jose Reyes and how his numbers compare to the Mets' power hitters.
ALCS Game 3 moved up
Game 2 of the National League Championship Series between the Mets and the Cardinals will start at 8:05 p.m. ET Friday, and Game 3 of the American League Championship Series between the Tigers and Athletics will start at 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 11
Neyer: Are we looking at a Tigers-Mets World Series? Insider
After ALCS Game 1, you have to like the Tigers in six games, or five. As for the NLCS, the Mets, at least on paper, are the obvious choice.
Cards' La Russa chooses rookie Reyes to start Game 4
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa chose a rookie right-hander over a 14-game winner to start Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.
Mets' Floyd ready to play
Cliff Floyd remained on the Mets' roster for the NL championship series despite a strained left Achilles tendon.
Tuesday, October 10
Nelson: Rolen, Floyd hurt, but want to help
Neither Scott Rolen nor Cliff Floyd wants to hurt his club, but they also want to be in their team's lineups in the NLCS.
Rolen says shoulder is fine, expects to play entire NLCS
Scott Rolen was on the bench for the St. Louis Cardinals' first-round clincher. He expects to be in the lineup throughout the National League Championship Series.
Monday, October 9
Floyd's availability uncertain; Mets set NLCS rotation
Cliff Floyd limped into the Mets' clubhouse Tuesday with a protective boot on his injured left foot and made his best case to remain on the team's roster in the NL Championship Series.
Crawford, Welke picked as LCS crew chiefs
Umpire Jerry Crawford was picked Monday as crew chief of the AL Championship Series and Tim Welke was selected as crew chief for the NL Championship Series.
Sunday, October 8
Law: Cardinals vs. Mets
When Chris Carpenter isn't pitching, the Cardinals will have a tough time trying to control the Mets' lineup.
For second straight year, Cards eliminate Padres in NLDS
Chris Carpenter recovered from a shaky start for his second victory of the series, Juan Encarnacion hit a tiebreaking triple and the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 Sunday night to win their best-of-five first-round NL playoff series 3-1.
Saturday, October 7
Neel: Mets' rope-a-dope knocks out Dodgers
When the Mets were on the ropes, their bats went to work and delivered the final blows to the Dodgers' season, writes Eric Neel.
Green helps Mets break out broom on Dodgers in NLDS
Shawn Green and the hitters started fast, Billy Wagner closed it out quickly and now the New York Mets are heading to the NLCS after a 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
Achilles puts Floyd's status for Mets in doubt
Mets outfielder Cliff Floyd, slowed by an injured Achilles' tendon, came out of Saturday night's NL division playoff game after scoring from first on Shawn Green's double in the third inning.
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• Yadier Molina's game-winning homer in the Cardinals' 3-1 victory over the Mets was the fifth go-ahead home run in the ninth inning or later of a decisive postseason game. (By decisive we mean the seventh game of a best-of-seven series, the fifth of a best-of-five and so on.) The others were hit by Bill Mazeroski (1960 World Series), Chris Chambliss (1976 ALCS), Rick Monday (1981 NLCS) and Aaron Boone (2003 ALCS).

• Old-school Tony La Russa did it again. The Cardinals' first run was driven in by Ronnie Belliard on a safety squeeze. If we consider any sacrifice bunt or bunt single that produces an RBI to be a squeeze, that would be the eighth in postseason play by a team managed by La Russa. The only managers with higher postseason totals -- and we really love this list -- were Miller Huggins (13), John McGraw (13) and Connie Mack (11). During the expansion era, only one manager has even half as many squeezes as La Russa: Tommy Lasorda (four).

• Jeff Suppan and Oliver Perez were only the fourth pair of opposing starters who both pitched at least six innings and allowed one earned run or none in the deciding game of a best-of-seven series. The others: Jack Morris and John Smoltz in 1991, Ralph Terry and Jack Sanford in 1962 and Christy Mathewson and Hugh Bedient in 1912 -- all in the World Series.

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