The Cardinals lost the NLCS 7th game to the SF Giants and are now back in St. Louis packing up for their winter off season. While it was heart breaking to St. Louis fans to see the team miss the chance for another World Series, everyone pretty much agrees they achieved far beyond what anyone expected. A new manager, injuries to integral players, it was a huge bonus for fans to see them go so far.
But I submit, again, that St. Louis had a physicall demanding row to hoe in these playoffs. Let's take a look back.
Central time zone-They ended the regular season in second place in the NL Central at 88-74. They clinched a spot in the playoffs on the second to last day of the season at home. October 3 Central time zone.
Eastern time zone-October 5 They then had to fly to Atlanta to play a one game Wild Card game against the Braves which they won.
Central time zone-October 7-8 two National division series games against the Washington Nationals which ended at 1 game a piece.
Eastern time zone-October 10-11-12, 3 games in DC ending with a wildly emotional win to take the series late on Friday October 12th. They celebrated the win and then flew through the night to San Francisco, landing at around 5:30 in the morning.
Pacific time zone- October 14-15, Games in San Francisco which they split 1-1 and a middle of the night plane ride back to St. Louis
Central time zone-October 17-18-19 St Louis wins 2 of 3 to take a 3-2 series lead, but by not winning the 3rd game in StL, it meant they were back on a middle of the night plane trip to SF.
Pacific time zone-October 21-22. Two losses and done.
This is not an excuse, but this type of travel every couple of days added to the ups and downs of emotional game play takes its toll on a person physicall. It's hard to believe that sleeping on a plane flying halfway across the country in the middle of the night after games is rejuvenating rest. No matter how fit you are, the change in sleep patterns takes its toll. Eventually hand eye coordination degrades, metabolism slows. Detroit had a similar experience in their ALCS playoff series against Oakland. Now they have to fly to San Francisco, but the difference is they have been off almost a week and should be well rested.
It's much harder to adjust to time changes going west to the Pacific time zone. By the time your body is ready to call it a day, everything is just getting going. Same in the morning. You're awake and ready to go hours before things open up.
The Cardinals deserve a lot of credit and congratulations for this season.