Losing to the Mets, and losing badly, in the National League Championship series leaves a bitter taste. The Cardinals did not play well, did not hit well, did not pitch well, did not manage well against the Mets. And that’s too bad, but we can’t let the poor finish completely erase a terrific season. Yes, it dampens the season a bit. Reaching the World Series would have given us fonder memories of the Cardinals in 2000. But the Cardinals had a terrific year. They led nearly wire to wire in the Central division, winning games with an insane home run rate in April, and settling into a routine of solid pitching and key hits in August and September. Mark McGwire missed the second half, but Will Clark became a fan favorite with a great performance in McGwire’s stead. Jim Edmonds played like an MVP candidate in the first half, and in the final month. The veteran rotation was dependable until October. The Cardinals swept the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. In the end, key injuries and poor pitching caught up with them. But 2000 was still a great ride.