Another season without an ace, this time Chris Carpenter, yet the Cardinals still managed to make the playoffs. An ace-like performance from Kyle Lohse eased the loss of Carpenter while Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran joined forces with Yadier Molina's MVP-worthy season to cover the offseason departure of Albert Pujols and the injury-stunted season of 2011 star Lance Berkman. Unfortunately, they couldn't turn this Wild Card into another World Series title. In fact, had it not been for the addition of the second Wild Card, the Cards wouldn't have been close to the playoffs in the first place.
The bad news for the National League is that last year's runner up is already strong and they are sitting on one of baseball's best farm systems positioning them for yet another run at the title. The bad news for the Cardinals is that they have made it a trifecta and for the third straight year they have lost an ace before the season with Carpenter repeating. There is serious concern tha
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