Now Commenting On:

Mozeliak watches proudly as Cards' pieces produce

Mozeliak watches proudly as Cards' pieces produce

Mozeliak watches proudly as Cards' pieces produce
WASHINGTON -- Last winter, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak was given the unenviable task of constructing a club capable of an encore. He'd have to do it, too, without a legendary manager and without the greatest hitter of the generation.

And so it was understandable that as the defending World Series champions gathered in the clubhouse to celebrate their incredible come-from-behind 9-7 win over the Nationals on Friday, Mozeliak watched with an inerasable grin.

Wild Card vs. Nationals

"It was perfect," Mozeliak said of the victory that sent the Cards to the National League Championship Series. "We saw how things were so dramatic last year. And then to see it unfold just like tonight, it's unbelievable. They just never go away. I don't know how else to articulate it. When things look the worst, they just kept chipping away, chipping away."

Mozeliak built this club not just to return to October, but to play through it. His biggest offseason signing, Carlos Beltran, capped a strong NL Division Series with a 3-for-3 night on Friday. His last hit -- a leadoff double in the ninth -- stirred the team's four-run rally.

Mike Matheny, the man Mozeliak chose to follow Tony La Russa, maximized his bullpen in Game 5 and left little opportunity to be second-guessed all series. Mozeliak's lone Trade Deadline pickup, reliever Edward Mujica, was also key in the win, pitching a scoreless inning.

"This is one big step, and we'll see what happens as we enter the next one," Mozeliak said. "But as we said last year, we live for another day. Now we know we're living for four more."

This marked the sixth postseason elimination game the Cardinals have played in the last 13 months. They have now won all six.

"They don't quit," said chief executive officer Bill DeWitt. "You can see the attitude they have. No matter how much we're behind, they keep plugging and charging. It's a great attribute this club has, and it's why we keep winning."

DeWitt, eyeing the clubhouse celebration going on around him as he spoke, was asked if, after a win like the one his team pulled off on Friday, this felt a little bit like last year. He answered without hesitation.

"It sure does," DeWitt said. "Let's hope it ends the same way."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español