St. Louis Cardinals: Top five pitching seasons of the decade

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 22: Kyle Lohse #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts in the third inning while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 22: Kyle Lohse #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts in the third inning while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

5. Kyle Lohse, 2012 – 211 IP, 2.86 ERA, 133 ERA+, 1.090 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 3.76 K/BB, 4.0 bWAR

Lohse only pitched five seasons in St. Louis over his 16 year MLB career, and 2012 was far and away his best statistical season of the bunch. Following up the 2011 World Series victory, he eclipsed the 200 inning mark, while posting the best ERA+ of his career as well. His WHIP showed he was a master at keeping batters off base, which was also exemplified by his minuscule BB/9 rate.

It makes you wonder how a career journeyman with a mostly mediocre career can post such a dominant season at age 33. He accrued 21.6% of his career WAR in that season alone, over a full win more than the next best season of his career.

Of the six teams he played for, his ERA in St. Louis was easily the best of any destination in his career. Maybe the coaching staff understood him better. Maybe he felt more at home. Maybe the competition was weaker. Whatever it was, he posted a fantastic 2012 season before moving on to Milwaukee the following season.

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