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Cardinals vs. Nationals, NLDS Game 5: Cardinals fans celebrate new heroes

The St. Louis Cardinals made an improbable late-game rally to beat the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series and advance to play the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.

After falling behind 6-0 early, the Cardinals continued to chip away at the lead before exploding for four runs in the top of the ninth against Nationals' closer Drew Storen.

The heroes? Just as improbable as the comeback. Second baseman Daniel Descalso, a .227 hitter with four home runs in the regular season, knocked in three runs in the final two innings. To win the game, shortstop Pete Kozma, who played in just 42 games during the season, hit a two-run single in the ninth to put the Cards up for good.

SB Nation's Viva El Bidos understands and enjoys the way the Cardinals organization continues to produce winners by churning out new hereos in October:

The St. Louis Cardinals just rode Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma into the NLCS, which is why there are baseball fans who hate the St. Louis Cardinals. With a six run deficit and a 21-game-winner on the other side; with a bunch of relievers with AA and AAA and even Miami Marlins innings; with two outs, with two strikes, with the Pacific Coast League's third-worst hitter at the plate, the Cardinals we expected this from watched from the dugout and on the bases as Pete Kozma hit a line drive in front of Jayson Werth to score the Cardinals' eighth and ninth runs since the Nationals had jumped out to an insurmountable-looking lead.

The Cardinals begin play in the NLCS at San Francisco on Sunday night at 7:07 p.m. CT.