The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the best teams in the MLB for so long, having finished under .500 only once this century. This is thanks in no small part to Cardinals legends Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, who have led the team to two World Series triumphs in 2006 and 2011. With two nearing the end of their careers, quite literally in Pujols’ case, NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt has an added chip on his shoulder to deliver this postseason.
Paul Goldschmidt would want nothing more than for the two to finish the twilight of their careers on top of the baseball world.
“With Albert and Yadi saying it’s going to be their last year, we’d love to send them out the right way,” Goldschmidt said, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “So that’s definitely been some motivation. It’s been on our mind since spring training. It’s carried us this far. There’s a long way to go. It’s been on my mind. These guys are here. It’s their last year. We’re trying not to disappoint.”
The 35-year old first baseman shouldn’t fret, for he has plenty of reinforcement behind him, such as Nolan Arenado, who was right up there with Paul Goldschmidt as some of the best players in the MLB during the 2022 season. Even Albert Pujols has found new life during his last professional campaign, hitting 24 home runs and 68 runs batted in en route to 703 long balls for his entire career, a remarkable feat.
In addition to Pujols’ achievements, Yadier Molina, along with fellow Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright, also set the record for most starts made by a battery in MLB history this past season.
It’s just amazing just how much experience there is in the Cardinals roster, which would undoubtedly be a priceless advantage as they enter their NL Wild Card round tilt against the Philadelphia Phillies, the same team they beat in the NL Division Series back in 2011 when they made a surprise run to the World Series and won it all behind insane clutch hitting.
Still, there will be considerable burden on the shoulders of Paul Goldschmidt, after he posted arguably the best season of his career, hitting 35 home runs and 115 runs batted in for an incredible slash line of .317/.404/.578. With such pressing motivation behind their postseason run, it will be difficult to defeat a team as solid and composed as the Cardinals in the postseason.