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Fans rally around Cards prior to Game 3

Fans rally around Cards

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ST. LOUIS -- Fans who showed up strong for "Pep Rally No. 1" outside Busch Stadium on Saturday expressed unanimous support for outfielder Matt Holliday, and also unanimously predicted that a Game 3 victory by their Cardinals over the Dodgers would shift the advantage to St. Louis because of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright ready to go back-to-back again.

Then fans who were gathered at the future "Ballpark Village" headed for the turnstiles to brace for at least nine chilly innings, and hoped the "St. Louis Summer" would last at least just a little bit longer.

"We're thinking if we can win this game, we've got Carpenter and Wainwright ready," said bleachers season-ticket holder Robby Summers of St. Peters, Mo. "We could have had both of those first games in L.A. I was pretty upset. I don't know if I would have blamed Holliday, though, because [Ryan] Franklin should have shut the door. If we win this, having two Cy Young candidates for Games 4 and 5 definitely would give us the advantage."

The National League Division Series arrived in St. Louis with the Cardinals down 0-2. The red-clad fans were warmed up with live music by "Plastic" and stoked by past Cardinals players Rick Horton, Tom Lawless and Ken Dayley.

Indeed, Holliday drew one of the loudest roars when he was announced during the pregame introduction of lineups -- just as those fans had predicted. Holliday had muffed the fly ball in left field at Dodger Stadium with two out in the bottom of the ninth.

"Anybody can miss a fly ball," said Bob Brendel of Troy, Ill. "Ryan Franklin still had a chance to shut the door."

Clark Anderson said he was "disappointed" by what happened at Dodger Stadium, but said during the pep rally, "We'll do it today. It was unfortunate Matt dropped that ball at the end, but I want him back next year. We'll forgive him."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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