The St. Louis Cardinals mounted a brilliant rally late in Game 1 of the NLDS to stun the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. And while the NL East champs are the ones reeling at the moment, they shouldn't be the only ones fearing just how much the Redbirds might be capable of.
After falling behind by a score of 3-1, the Cardinals scored twice in the eighth and four times in the ninth. They proved they could go from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye. And if you're the Dodgers or Nationals -- or an AL contender, for that matter -- you've got to take notice. And even be a little concerned.
Heading into this matchup, the Cardinals were slight underdogs for one main reason: their lack of offensive firepower. While the Braves can count on the bats of Ronald Acuña, Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson, among others, St. Louis really only have a couple of sturdy bats in Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna. And they did exactly what they needed to do right in the nick of time.
This couldn't have been more evidenced by the fact that during the regular season, the Cardinals were ranked in the bottom half of the league in every single major offensive team statistic, including average, OBP and OPS.
However, in tonight's game, there was production from almost every single Cardinals player. Only catcher Yadier Molina failed to get a hit, and we all know his presence in the lineup is predicated on his Gold Glove work behind the plate either way. All told, these guys stood up tall when it really mattered, and the 97-win Braves had no answer.
If the Cardinals continue to have role players step up and contribute in tight spots, there's no telling how deep of a run they could potentially make (as long as their pitching continues to hold up).