St. Louis Cardinals: Top five pitching seasons of the decade
Shelby Miller, 2013 – 173.1 IP, 3.06 ERA, 122 ERA+, 1.206 WHIP, 7.9 H/9, 8.8 K/9, 3.4 bWAR
Shelby was one of the top prospects in all of baseball at the time of his debut in 2013, and a dominant rookie season had many believe he was the next ace of the future. After a slight regression in 2014, he was shipped to Atlanta in the Jason Heyward trade.
Following one good season for the Braves, he morphed into one of the worst pitchers in the league, posting a 6.89 ERA from 2016-2019, and is now looking for any chance to get back into baseball over the offseason.
Chris Carpenter, 2010 – 235 IP, 3.22 ERA, 120 ERA+, 1.179 WHIP, 8.2 H/9, 6.9 K/9, 3.0 bWAR
Arguably, Carpenter’s best season was in 2009 (just missing the decade), but he was still plenty dominant in 2010. A dynamic trio (all mentioned later) dominated that season, anchoring the staff to an 86 win season in Pujols’ last elite season.
Carlos Martinez, 2016 – 195.1 IP, 3.04 ERA, 133 ERA+, 1.224 WHIP, 7.8 H/9, 8.0 K/9, 5.3 bWAR
What looked to be the start of Carlos’ top shelf career, may have been a mirage. The 24 year old CMart followed up his breakout season (that was shut down early due to a shoulder injury) with an impressive showing, looking like he was ready to be an ace. He hasn’t been the same since, but many are hopeful he can regain that form this year.
Jaime Garcia, 2010 – 163.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 143 ERA+, 1.316 WHIP, 8.3 H/9, 7.3 K/9, 2.7 bWAR
Garcia was a consistent piece in the rotation for the early half of the decade, but he may have posted his best season as a rookie in 2010. In his age 23 season, Jaime was part of the trio in 2010 with Wainwright and Carpenter that carried the team. His stuff may not have been better than it was that year, and he just recently retired in January 2019.
Lance Lynn, 2014 – 203.2 IP, 2.74 ERA, 133 ERA+, 1.262 WHIP, 8.2 H/9, 8.0 K/9, 3.6 bWAR
Lynn was a very solid pitcher over the course of his career in St. Louis, posting a career 3.38 ERA with the Cardinals, but his 2014 season stood out as his best. The fastball specialist posted the only sub 3 ERA of his career that year, which lead to his best ERA+ with the Cardinals at 133.