Cubs and Cardinals will meet in postseason for first time

The Cubs on Wednesday night suffocated the Pirates by a score of 4-0 in the NL wild card game on Wednesday night. Given that, please direct your attention to the upper right-hand portion of the following graphic and the implications therein ... 

Lo and also behold: The Cubs and Cardinals, for the first time in history, will meet in a postseason series. Yes, the two august National League rivals who've been competing directly with one another since 1892, have never before clashed on the playoff stage. To be fair, it was impossible for teams in the same league to meet in the postseason until the era of divisional play began in 1969. 

Even then, though, the Cubs and Cardinals shared a division -- the NL East until 1994, and then the NL Central. So, really, it's only since the advent of the wild card in 1995 that such a matchup was even possible. That said, it's striking the lengths to which the Cubs and Cardinals seemingly have gone in order to dodge each other in October. Sports On Earth's Will Leitch summed it up well earlier this year:

It just never quite works out for those two, being competitive at the same time. Since 1996, the Cardinals have only missed the postseason seven times: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2010. The Cubs have made the postseason four times since 1996, and every single one of them was during a season the Cardinals missed: 1998, 2003, 2007 and 2008. It's like they're purposely trying to avoid each other.

Since these two started crossing swords, they've played each other 2,363 times (the Cubs, thanks in part to their fattening up on the terrible Cardinal teams of the early 20th century, lead the all-time series 1,197-1,147 plus a few ties). Those are all regular season contests, though.

This is a rivalry that's given us the Lou Brock-Ernie Broglio trade, the promiscuous broadcasting loyalties of Harry Caray, Sosa-McGwire in '98, and the first 1:05 or so of this color-television footage ... 

It has not, however, given us high-stakes postseason baseball. That changes on Friday, when these Cubs meet these Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS in St. Louis. 

People: Let the drums of war echo across the prairies ... 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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