Five most disappointing Cardinals seasons since 1961

The 2023 season has been pretty unbearable to watch. What other seasons have been the wrost in Cardinals history?
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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2004 Season

You might be asking yourself: "Didn't the Cardinals make it to the World Series in 2004?" The answer to that question would be, undoubtedly, yes. They did indeed make it to the World Series in 2004. This season is disappointing due to the fact that they lost that World Series to the Boston Red Sox. To make matters worse, they got swept by Boston in the 2004 World Series.

The 2004 Cardinals won a franchise-record 105 games in the regular season, beat the Dodgers in 4 games in the NLDS, and got past a brutal Houston Astros team in the NLCS. This 2004 team featured players such as Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, and Edgar Renteria on the offensive side to go along with pitchers such as Chris Carpenter, Matt Morris, Jeff Suppan, and Jason Isringhausen. The Cardinals were frequently touted as one of, if not, the best teams in baseball this year.

St. Louis' offense ranked top-5 in all of baseball in OPS+, batting average, and stolen bases. They were in the top 7 in home runs, RBIs, hits, and runs per game. Their pitching staff had the second-best ERA, the fifth-best ERA+, and the best WHIP, and were top-10 in FIP as well. Altogether, the Cardinals were one of the best teams statistically and the best team based on record that year in baseball.

The Cardinals also flew through the playoffs with relative ease. They took out the Dodgers in 4 games and battled against the Houston Astros in the NLCS. The home team won each game in the NLCS, but the Cardinals managed to overpower the Astros with a strong offensive performance, scoring at least 5 runs in 5 of the 7 games.

This season is disappointing due to its conclusion. The Cardinals were clearly favored over the Boston Red Sox, who had to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS and who made it into the playoffs by virtue of being a Wild Card team. The Cardinals, meanwhile, were touted all year as one of the best teams in baseball.

Despite these facts, the Red Sox swept the Cardinals, quite handily. Game 1 featured plenty of offense; the Red Sox won 11-9 at Fenway. Game 2 was a bit more of a blowout, as the Red Sox won 6-2. After the first game, the Cardinals' offense dwindled, scoring only 1 run in game 3 and getting shut out in game 4. For as impressive as the regular season was, the 2004 season can be considered a disappointment due to its quick and brutal ending in the World Series.