12. Michael Wacha’s near no-hitter (Sept. 24, 2013)
Highly touted rookie Michael Wacha flashed brilliance on a Tuesday evening in 2013 against the Washington Nationals, recording 26 outs before Ryan Zimmerman hit a ground ball that tipped off Wacha’s glove for a base hit. Wacha would never display this kind of dominance again for the Cardinals, although he came close in a game in 2018 when he lost a no-hitter after eight innings.
Shelby Miller also flirted with a no-hitter that year on May 10; however, the first hit against him was in the top of the first inning, after which he retired 26 straight batters. In a year where the Cardinals were known for their offense, these were some great showings on the mound.
11. The blockbuster with the Blue Jays (July 27, 2011)
See the year up there? That’s why this trade is in here. The deal, which involved the Cardinals giving up Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, P.J. Walters and Brian Tallet in exchange for Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel and Corey Patterson, actually didn’t do too much for either team.
Rzepczynski did provide solid left-handed work out of the bullpen, and Dotel pitched decently as well, but Jackson struggled and Patterson received very little playing time. But nobody knows how the Cardinals would have fared had they not made the trade. As it is, they won the World Series, so the trade can only be considered a resounding success and one of the best memories of the decade.
10. Cardinals sweep Cubs in four-game series (Sept. 19-22, 2019)
There is probably some recency bias in here, but this sweep clinched a postseason berth for the Cardinals and helped them avoid a Wild Card game. It also felt as if it unofficially signaled a changing of the guard, entrenching the Cardinals as the NL Central’s team to beat once again.
The series was one amazing game after another, filled with dramatic, heart-stopping moments, and of course, the right team emerged victorious in the end of all four. The Cardinals would be the victims of a sweep in the NLCS, but nothing could take away the sweet feeling of the world returning to its natural balance after this series.
9. The Wild Card infield fly (Oct. 5, 2012)
Fans of the Atlanta Braves probably remember this better — and much less fondly — than Cardinals fans do, but I recall the fans in Atlanta going ballistic over the call. In the 2012 NL Wild Card game with two on and one out, the Braves’ Andrelton Simmons hit a ball into shallow left field that probably should have been caught by Pete Kozma or Matt Holliday. But it wasn’t. Umpire Sam Holbrook ruled it an infield fly, and everyone lost it.
Fans proceeded to throw garbage all over the field for 19 minutes until a public address warning stated that the Braves would be forced to forfeit the game if the field continued to be littered with trash. The Braves weren’t able to continue the rally, and the loss left them one and done. There was no guarantee that the Braves would have done anything had it not been ruled an infield fly, but this sticks in my memory because of the sheer mayhem the fans caused.