When you consider all that they've lost, it's stunning that the St. Louis Cardinals are one victory away from heading to the NLCS for the second straight season and seventh time in 13 years.
Three potential Hall of Famers -- manager Tony La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan and first baseman Albert Pujols -- left the club after last year's World Series title.
Three other stalwarts of the 2011 champions -- right-hander Chris Carpenter, first baseman Lance Berkman and shortstop Rafael Furcal -- contributed less than expected due to injuries.
Yet here are the Cardinals, the second wild-card qualifier in the NL, seemingly capable of becoming the first team to win back-to-back Series titles since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998 to 2000.
Two unlikely heroes were the stars of Wednesday's 8-0 victory over the Washington Nationals in Game 4 of the Division Series -- and "unlikely" actually is not a strong enough word to describe them.
"Incredible" might be more like it...