The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#32 Jason Isringhausen CP

As closers go, one could make the argument that Isringhausen deserves to be up there with Sutter for his ability to close games. Isringhausen was for all intents and purposes the best at closing games for the Cardinals as is evident by his numbers. In seven years with the Cardinals, Isringhausen saved a record 217 games while posting an ERA of 2.98 (3.59 FIP).

What you want get from guys like Isringhausen, Lee, Sutter is much value in the way of fWAR of baseball-reference’s WAR, but when you can shorten a game down to eight innings by the way of having a dominant closer, it changes things. Isringhausen proved that over and over again throughout his career with the Cardinals.

Isringhausen had a number of really good seasons in his career, as he posted an ERA under 3.00 in each of his first four seasons in St. Louis. However, the two that stick out the most to me are his 2004 and 2005 campaigns. In 2004, Isringhausen posted a 2.87 ERA (3.02 FIP), while saving a career high and league leading 47 saves.

In 2005, Isringhuasen was just as good, finishing his season with a 2.14 ERA (3.60 FIP), while saving 39 games for the Cardinals. Isringhausen had numerous injury problems after that season and really only had more one effective season in 2007 as he saved 32 games while posting a 2.48 ERA.

His 2008 season was the worst of his Cardinals’ career, posting a 5.70 ERA and notching just 12 saves. After that season the Cardinals did not resign the aging closer, bringing an end to Cardinals’ career. However, Isringhausen definitely is one of the 50 best players on this team.

Next: The first defensive wizard