The “happy flight” chants could be heard everywhere -- in the St. Louis Cardinals' cluhouse, on the field, among the couple hundred Cards fans present at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The phrase that’s followed game after game of success on getaway day for the Cards echoed loud and proud as the Redbirds beat the Brewers 12-6 for the NLCS crown, and prepared to fly home to Busch for a World Series match-up with the Texas Rangers.
The team that no one believed would make it into the postseason is now poised to become the last one standing.
"We were healthy, our bullpen pretty much got us into the postseason and we started swinging when we needed to," star Albert Pujols said to MLB.com. "And picking each other up, that's pretty much why we're here, picking each other up."
Pujols gave fans a couple of gasp-worthy moments in Sunday night’s game.
In the third, he hit a homer, tying Babe Ruth for the most home runs in postseason history with 15.
In the fifth, a pileup at first with Brewers slugger Ryan Braun and Cards pitcher Marc Rzepczynski ended with Pujols on the ground in agony, clutching his right forearm after Braun came down on it with his cleat.
"Albert is no drama king, so you know when he goes down, something is hurting him," manager Tony La Russa told the media after the game. "So you fear for the worst."
After a visit from the Cardinals assistant trainer, Pujols stayed in the game, and made it to the plate in the next half inning with a big, red welt and a puncture on his arm, striking out.
"As long as I can walk I'm going to stay in the game," Pujols said. "This is the postseason. Nothing hurts. You don't think about anything but making the play."
All was forgotten by the end, of course, as Pujols as his teammates chanted and sprayed each other with champagne, on their way to their way to their third World Series in eight years. Of course, as always, Pujols had his eye on the ultimate prize.
"It's awesome but our goal is to win it,” he told the media. “Nobody talks about second place. Everybody talks about who wins it. That’s our main goal."