NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KPLR)-- It was a rough night for Cardinal fans ready to celebrate. With one swing of Jason Werth’s bat, the life was sucked out of every sports bar in St. Louis, and many of the living rooms, too. At Patrick’s in Westport, there was a gasp, followed by screams of “No!” as the ball flew out of Nationals Park, sending the Cardinals to a 2-1 loss, and the series to a “winner take all” game 5.
As stressful as it was for fans to watch, it might have been even tougher for business owners banking on baseball.
“It’s tough. We’re just watching anxiously like everyone else,” Patrick’s owner Pat Hannen said following Thursday’s gut wrenching loss.
Hannen says a playoff night involving the Cardinals guarantees double the business for him. That’s doubly important for a place almost starting from scratch under a new name. This used to be Pujols 5, until Albert hit the road for Anaheim this past offseason.
“Tonight we were standing room only, lined up out the door,” Hannen said. “And that’s good news for us because they’re coming here to watch sports under the new name.”
Friday guarantees him one more night of big Cardinal money, but a win could bring so much more.
“We’ll take another game and then hopefully we’ll win and have another series, and another five games like we did last year.”
Dreams of last year were everywhere Thursday night. Cardinal fan Miranda Ridenhour was even banking on last season’s superstitions in hopes of bringing home a winner.
“So I wore the same outfit through the playoffs. The scarf and the shirt and the underwear. It was clean underwear,” she said, laughing. “It’s not weird if it works!”
There was still plenty of optimism in the room, though. Ridenhour says she has her NLCS tickets ready. Others say this is just how it is with this team.
“We are gonna win tomorrow night” Tom Wetzel told us. “It’s not a big deal. Everybody needs to relax. We’re gonna win this game tomorrow.”
Up the road at the Bridgeton Sports Café, the feeling was the same, a sense of confidence that seems to come from 2011’s crazy, winning ride.
“I’m not really down,” Tom Allensworth said. This is gonna make the series that much more special. We’re gonna win tomorrow, and we’re gonna win by four runs, no problem, it’s in the bag.”
If that sounds like a slap at the baseball gods, a jinx waiting to happen, you definitely don’t want to know what Kelly Martorelli has to say.
“I’m looking ahead. I think that we’ll beat San Francisco and get to the World Series, and we’re definitely gonna do 12 in 12."
First they have to take care of the team that had the National League’s best record, in their park, on Friday night. First pitch is at 7:37 CDT.