About Last Night: It’s Always in the Cards

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In case you were busy stridently fighting off accusations of having brought the weather with you, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • Adam Wainwright guided the Cardinals into the NLCS, throwing a complete game as St. Louis eliminated the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 6-1 win, because of course he did. David Freese hit a clutch home run in an elimination game, because of course he did. Yadier Molina was a rock both behind the plate and in the lineup all series long, because of course he was. Two of St. Louis’s three Matts — Holliday and Adams — picked up the third, a slumping Carpenter, because of course they did. And the St. Louis Cardinals will now move on to the NLCS, where they will have home-field advantage against the Los Angeles Dodgers, because of course they will. In the NLCS the Cardinals will play a hard-fought, professional series, where win or lose the players will be able to leave with their heads held high, because the St. Louis Cardinals are the St. Louis Cardinals and will always be the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • The St. Louis Blues, meanwhile, continue to back up their preseason hype, getting a goal from Alexander Steen with 21 seconds left in regulation to edge the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, and maintain their perfect start to the NHL season. Looking forward, the Blues will somehow contrive to both win their division by 12 points and get swept out of the Western Conference finals by inferior opposition, leaving them unable to hold their heads up high, because the St. Louis Blues are the St. Louis Blues and will always be the St. Louis Blues.
  • Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith has deemed the notion of trading tight end Tony Gonzalez “preposterous” despite his team’s poor start to the season. “What, should we trade a retiring player for draft picks while simultaneously improving our overall draft position by weakening our team in a lost season, while also returning that player to the place where he played the bulk of his Hall of Fame career? Like a stupid baby?” Smith asked sarcastically, before adding, “That’s not how Mike Smith rolls. Mike Smith lives for the now.” Smith then celebrated his stubbornness by smoking a Marlboro, giving himself a tattoo with a used needle, spraying CFC directly into the air, and coining the catchphrase “crash through the debt ceiling: I got a good feeling.”
  • Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said quarterback Matt Schaub will continue to start for the team, calling the choice a “tough decision.” Kubiak elaborated by saying, “It wasn’t just between Schaub and backup T.J. Yates. Other guys were in play: Matt Flynn, JaMarcus Russell, Jimmy Clausen, and Matt Leinart. So there were six guys I was picking between, all good options. At the end of the day, though, I just thought, Pick from six, pick from six, pick-six, and somehow landed back on Schaub.”
  • The Los Angeles Kings blew a three-goal first-period lead before eking out a 4-3 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators. Kings star Dustin Brown, who scored two goals in the victory, credited his team’s resolve on its “commitment to Hobbesian philosophy.” Brown then added, “I think it’s pretty clear that Kings are just better at getting things done than Senators.” Brown, though, was later refuted by Senators captain Jason Spezza, who pointed out, “My team is Canadian. We just aren’t quite as good at hockey right now.”
  • The Yankees have re-signed manager Joe Girardi to a four-year, $16 million deal, meaning he is signed longer than any player on the team’s roster aside from beleaguered third baseman Alex Rodriguez. When reminded of that fact, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman excused himself from the press conference and told his phone to dial “Security Blanket.” When no one picked up, Cashman, with a quivering lip, left the following message: “Hey, Mo, it’s Brian, Brian Cashman. You know, Bri-Bri. Anyway, how are you doing? I’m doing great. Just great. We got Joe on board longer and … ” Cashman began to break down. Fighting through tears, he added, “Oh, who am I kidding, I’m hanging on here by a thread Mo. I just wish you were here, to tell me it’s gonna be OK. That Robbie’s going to stay and we’ll make the playoffs for sure. Because right now I see the future, and it’s just me and Joe and Alex, and— ” Cashman’s voice trailed off. He took a moment, swallowed hard, and regained his composure, before saying, “And I miss you, but I’m not going to let that push me back onto the edge. This is a new year, and I’m going to keep it together and use this as motivation to work harder. Thanks for listening, pal. Call anytime.” Cashman, relieved, wiped his eyes and put down the banana he had been using as a phone, before going back to face the press.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Blackhawks, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Kings, New York Yankees, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

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