Well we’re here, the offseason. As we patch up the holes that we punched in our walls, wipe away the last few tears from our eyes, and buy a new box of tissues since all that we had are now gone, it’s time to look at the good that was the 2015 St. Louis Cardinals. While the World Series is the ultimate goal, there’s no denying that this team overcame A LOT. That is something us fans can never be ashamed of.
First let’s take a look at the most notable deficit this season, injuries. It started really early, and with the pitching rotation. Jaime Garcia didn’t even make his first start of the season until May 21st due to left shoulder surgery he was recovering from. Then right around the end of the April there was the loss of Adam Wainwright due to a torn left achilles. What looked to be the most dominant pitching rotation in the Majors was now dwindling.
Just four days after the injury to Waino, the baseball Gods decided taking away our pitching rotation was too easy, so Jordan Walden fell to right biceps inflammation. Walden never returned this season.
While April had the pitching mound in shambles, May didn’t help the lineup too much. On May 11th Jon Jay was placed on the 15-Day DL with left wrist tendinitis. On May 27th Matt Adams strained his right quad, early claimed as a season ending injury.
Eight days into June the starting rotation suffered another loss. Lance Lynn was now injured with a strained right forearm and placed on the 15-Day DL. One day after that, Matt Holliday goes on the 15-Day DL with a strained right quad, the same injury that ended Matt Adams season. A left groin strain on June 25th would put Jaime Garcia back on the DL. A day after that, Matt Belisle was placed on the 60-Day DL with right elbow inflammation. These pitchers could not catch a break.
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July was a depressing month of re-injuries. Jon Jay was placed back on the 15-Day DL on July 1st with a bone bruise on his left wrist, the same wrist injured earlier in the season. July 30th saw Matt Holliday go down again with a strained right quad, again the exact injury he went down with before.
So, seeing starters go down hurts right? Well, Randal Grichuk was one of those guys that stepped up in those absences, but he was placed on the 15-Day DL with a right elbow strain on August 17th, right in the midst of him making a case for Rookie of the Year.
Now to where it hurts, late injuries. On September 21st Yadi goes down with a torn ligament in his left thumb, he tried to make a postseason comeback, but it just didn’t work out. Then on September 30th Carlos Martinez would be lost for the postseason due to a right shoulder strain.
Call to the Pen
That documents the most notable injuries throughout the season, that in itself is enough for any team to quit or make excuses and wait until next year. But that’s not the St. Louis Cardinals. Guys like Tommy Pham, Randal Grichuk, and especially Stephen Piscotty made the whole league notice, and the Cardinals were once again a threat.
While we didn’t reach the ultimate goal, the team finished as NL Central champions once again and won 100 games on the way, only the ninth Cardinals team to EVER achieve 100 wins. With all those mentioned injuries, how does that even happen?
This team overcame so much, the resilience of the team this year was tremendous. This season made me happy to say I’m a Cardinals fan. The fact of the matter is the Cubs were the better team at the right time, and it showed in the NLDS. This is the first year since 2010 that we will not see the Cardinals in the NLCS. It sucks, but that’s the joy of being a sports fan. Folks, the Cardinals will be back, you can bet on that. But for now we reminisce on what was a great season.
Thank you St. Louis Cardinals.