St. Louis Cardinals: 2015 National League Central Champions


With the odds stacked against them, the St. Louis Cardinals clinched the National League Central Division for the third season in a row.

More from Adam Wainwright

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. It was never supposed to have happened this way. Not with Jason Heyward manning the outfield and right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller on the Atlanta Braves. It was always supposed to be Oscar Taveras with a mix of Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty playing off the bench.

It was never supposed to happen with Adam Wainwright missing a bulk of the season. Wainwright swapped places with Carlos Martinez on the 60-Day DL when he was re-activated this morning. The Georgia native suffered a left Achilles injury on April 25 while batting against the Milwaukee Brewers. He had been 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA over 25.0 innings pitched in four starts before missing 141 games this season. Wainwright will be showing us shades of 2006 as he takes a bullpen role for the rest of the season and postseason.

It was never supposed to happen with Matt Holliday playing in 63 games before being activated on September 15, having played in just 11 games since June 8. Holliday missed 41 games since going on the DL at the end of JUly with a right quadriceps strain. He had previously been on the DL from June 9 to July 16 for the same injury. Despite the injury, Holliday was selected to his 7th All-Star game.

Nor was it supposed to happen with third baseman Matt Carpenter‘s offense decided to disappear from May through August. Sure, Carpenter managed to hit 27 home runs and knock in 83 RBIs this season but it wasn’t pretty. Carpenter started off the year with 13 doubles but wouldn’t see another month with ten or more doubles until September.

Heyward didn’t quite display the power that fans expected he would regain with a change of scenery. His 13th home run of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates was a grand slam and played a key role in clinching the division for the Cardinals tonight.

What a ride it has been this season. Let’s hope that the Cardinals bring home the 12th World Series championship after the MLB postseason.