Oct 1, 2011, 8:30 PM EDT
US Presswire photo
Albert Pujols leads the red-hot Cardinals into Philadelphia.
There's no understating what the St. Louis Cardinals managed to pull off over the season's final three weeks, winning 16 of their last 21 games to overtake the collapsing Atlanta Braves and seize the NL wild-card. And what's their reward for all that? A division series matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies, baseball's best team all season.
As we all painfully know, the Phillies boast the most dominant rotation in the game, the quartet of aces known as Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels that gives this team every reason to believe it will win every time it steps on the field.
Which isn't to say this is a slam-dunk sweep for the Phillies. Their lineup was pretty banged up at the end of the season, raising some question marks. And Ryan Madson, though he excelled in his first year as closer, hasn't done it in the postseason yet. Throw in the fact the Cardinals actually won the season series, 6-3, and perhaps they have a chance here.
What's my prediction? Scroll down to read it…
NL DIVISION SERIES – GAME 1
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 5:07 p.m.
Radio: XM 89
Weather: Showers, 62 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF
SS Rafael Furcal
RF Allen Craig
1B Albert Pujols
LF Lance Berkman
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Friday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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