WASHINGTON — The first two games of the 2019 NLCS did not inspire much confidence for Cardinals fans.
One run. Four hits (only two from starters). 14 and two-thirds innings of no-hit baseball from Nationals starters.
I think we can describe that as "not ideal" to say the least.
From a fan's perspective it may feel like all hope is lost, but there really is still a chance for the Cardinals, provided their offense decides to eventually make an appearance.
They would have to overcome some foreboding statistics, though.
Since the NLCS went to the best-of-seven format in 1985, only one team has been able to mount a comeback after dropping the first two games of the series.
That team just so happens to be the 1985 Cardinals, who took down the Dodgers in six games. Thirty-four years later, these Cardinals are going to need some of that magic.
The 1985 team was headlined by names like Ozzie Smith, John Tudor, Tommy Herr, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman and Jack Clark.
Coleman of course, suffered one of the most infamous sports injuries of all-time during the course of the NLCS, when the Busch Stadium automatic tarpaulin ran over his leg. The fastest man in baseball, caught by the tarp. Coleman was sidelined for the rest of the playoffs.
Down 0-2 and with their their speedster sidelined starting in Game 4, the 1985 Redbirds had to dig deep. Unlike the 2019 club, those Cardinals were at home for games 3-5, which was certainly an advantage.
They won Game 3 thanks to a good start from Danny Cox and some early offense from Willie McGee and Tommy Herr.
They crushed Los Angeles in Game 4 by the score of 12-2 thanks to a nine-run third inning and three RBIs from Coleman's replacement, Tito Landrum.
With the series tied, things started to get wild.
In Game 5, Ozzie made the crowd "go crazy" with his first ever left-handed home run to walk off Tom Niedenfuer and take the series lead.
Two days later, it was Jack Clark who said "adios" to Niedenfuer in the ninth inning at Dodgers Stadium with a three run home run to take the lead and send Los Angeles packing.
That season might not have ended in a World Series title for the Cardinals, but that NLCS is one of the most classic series in franchise history.
Do the 2019 Cardinals have the same kind of spunk in them?
It seems highly unlikely this year's team could rattle off four straight wins like the 1985 team did, but it's baseball and it's the Cardinals. They have a knack for this whole "backs against the wall" thing.
"We trust in ourselves," Yadier Molina said after Game 2. "We've been in this position before and we just need to find out how to get better."
"It's kind of just the ups and downs," Tommy Edman said after Game 2. "We've shown that after a couple rough games we can come back and have an explosion like we did in Atlanta."
Fighting back into this series will be like climbing the Arch with a two-ton weight on their backs, but with their trademark resiliency and hot starting pitching, it just might be possible, if the offense decides to come out of hibernation at least a little bit.
Here's hoping for some more classic moments like the ones we got 34 years ago.