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St. Louis Cardinals: Their Recent History

By Edited Nov 27, 2015 0 0

After suffering through a disappointing decade in the 1990s, the St. Louis Cardinals emerged in the 2000s as a constant force in the National League. They won the World Series in 2006 after winning the pennant two years earlier, and they have won six division titles since 2000.

In the glorious history of the team, though, few seasons could match 2011. The team overcame a 10.5-game deficit to win the wildcard before beating heavily favored Philadelphia in the divisional series. The team then defeated Milwaukee to make the World Series. In that series against Texas, the Cardinals were twice down to their final out in Game 6, only to rally and tie the game. A come-from-behind win led to another win in Game 7 to give St. Louis its 11th World Championship.

St. Louis Cardinals: Their Recent History

2007

Record: 78-84
NL Central Finish: 3rd
Playoffs: None

The Cardinals had to defend their 2006 World Series title by replacing most of their starting pitching staff. Early in the season, the team also had to deal with the death of pitcher Josh Hancock, who was killed in a car wreck. The team had a rough start and had trouble winning consistently for the second half of the season. The Cardinals were in 3rd place in the NL Central for most of the months July, August, and September and finished with a losing record.

Albert Pujols had a solid season, hitting .327 with 32 homers and 103 RBI.[2647]

All-Star Players

1B Albert Pujols

2008

Record: 86-76
NL Central Finish: 4th
Playoffs: None

The Cardinals improved in 2008 but fell in the NL Central standings. The team was in second and trying to catch Chicago for most of the first half of the season. St. Louis then struggled in the middle of September, losing six straight at one point and falling into 4th place in the division.

Pujols hit a career-high .359 with 43 homers and 124 RBI. He was joined on the All-Star team by right fielder Ryan Ludwick, who hit .299 with 37 homers. Pitching improved, as starter Kyle Lohse went 15-6 while Adam Wainwright went 11-3.[2647]

All-Star Players

1B Albert Pujols
OF Ryan Ludwick

2009

Record: 91-71
NL Central Finish: 1st
Playoffs: Lost LDS to the L.A. Dodgers (3-0)

The Cardinals returned to the playoffs in 2009 after winning the NL Central. Even without an extraordinary record, the team held the division lead throughout the rest of the season after reclaiming it from Chicago on July 31. The big news during the season was the team’s acquisition of outfielder Matt Holliday. Even with Holliday, though, the postseason did not last long as St. Louis was swept by the L.A. Dodgers in three games.

Pujols hit .327 with 47 homers. Catcher Yadier Molina made the All-Star team as well, due mostly to his defensive work. Closer Ryan Franklin recorded 38 saves with an ERA of 1.92.[2647]

All-Star Players

1B Albert Pujols
C Yadier Molina
P Ryan Franklin

2010

Record: 86-76
NL Central Finish: 2nd
Playoffs: None

St. Louis was unable to repeat as division champions in 2010. The team led the division until August 15 but then lost the lead and failed to catch eventual division champion Cincinnati. The Cardinals finished five games behind the Braves for the wildcard and missed the playoffs.

Pujols saw his numbers drop a bit as he hit .312 with 42 homers. Holliday also hit .312 and made his first All-Star appearance as a member of the Cardinals. Wainwright recorded a record of 20-11, and Chris Carpenter had his best season in years, finishing with a record of 16-9 as a starter.[2647]

All-Star Players

1B Albert Pujols
C Yadier Molina
P Chris Carpenter
P Adam Wainwright
OF Matt Holliday

2011

Record: 90-72
NL Central Finish: 2nd
Playoffs: Won the World Series by beating Texas (4-3)[2648]

On August 24, the Cardinals trailed the Milwaukee Brewers by 10 games in the NL Central and trailed the Atlanta Braves by 10.5 games for the wildcard. The team wasn’t able to catch the Brewers, but the Braves experienced a collapse, and the Cardinals pulled out a playoff berth.

The run to the World Series title was also rough. The Cardinals had to face the Phillies, who had won a NL-high 102 games. With the season on the line in the decisive Game 5, the Cardinals scored a single run in the first inning and held on to beat the Phillies to win the LDS. St. Louis then moved on to beat the Brewers to earn the Cardinals their 18th pennant.

Against Texas in the World Series, the Cardinals lost a pivotal Game 5 and trailed three games to two. The Rangers led 7-4 after seven innings and led 7-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth. With Pujols and Lance Berkman on base and the Cardinals down to their final out, David Freese tripled to right field, which scored both Pujols and Berkman and tied the game.

The Rangers again took the lead in the top of the 10th, and with two men on and two out, Berkman singled to center field to tie the score again. The Cardinals held the Rangers scoreless in the 11th, and Freese hit the game-winner to send the Series to Game 7. The Cardinals won the decisive Game 7 by a score of 6-2 to give St. Louis another title.

All-Star Players

OF Lance Berkman
OF Matt Holliday
C Yadier Molina

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Bibliography

  1. "Baseball-Reference.com." Baseball-Reference.com. 27/02/2012 <Web >
  2. Jayson Stark "Cardinals Complete Impossible Dream." ESPN.com. 29/10/2011. 27/02/2012 <Web >

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