Re: Just a quick reminder here re: baseball
Sorry, but this is just incorrect. Baseball is played over 162 game schedule, unlike the other examples you gave, so it is built for the long term.
Four games or even 15 games in baseball is like one game in most other sports. Going on a good 15 game run is often a matter of luck in baseball, that's why the playoffs are always a crap shoot.
The Cards got lucky last season because the Braves collapsed, and the Phillies best player was injured. They played well in the NLCS, but got lucky in the World Series that the Rangers played horribly.
The Cards got lucky this season because the rules were changed that let them into the playoffs despite a mediocre season overall and finishing 9 games out of first. They got lucky with a blown call against the Braves and were lucky that the Nat's shut down Strasberg.
The Cards have played well, so it's not all luck, but more luck than usual was required for them to win the World Series last year, and for their advancement so far this season.
It's an undeniable fact. The Cards have been unbelievabley lucky these last two years and their level of play normally would not have warrented them to even make the playoffs either year.