St. Louis Cardinals: All-time top five Cardinals closers

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Bruce Sutter. Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

3) Bruce Sutter, Closer – St. Louis Cardinals, 1981-1984

After establishing himself as a top-notch ninth-inning man on the North Side of Chicago with the Chicago Cubs, Sutter came to St. Louis ahead of the 1981 season and never looked back.

Over the course of his four seasons in St. Louis, Sutter finished over 200 games, including 127 saves. He averaged less than six punch-outs per nine innings, which wasn’t nearly as impressive as his Jason Motte-like beard, but, more often than not, he got the job done.

His best season with the Cardinals came in 1984, his last season in red and white, when he nailed down a career-best 45 saves with a minuscule 1.54 earned run average in 71 appearances. He racked up 122 2/2 innings of work that year, finishing sixth in the National League MVP voting, as well as third in the Cy Young race – but it would be the last time he pitched at such a level.

For Cardinals fans, at least they got to see him at his best before he tailed off quickly in his mid-30s as a member of the Atlanta Braves. As for this list, he wasn’t around long enough in St. Louis to warrant a top spot, but he’s definitely earned our respect for his work.

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