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
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2023 Season

Slowly but surely, the 2023 Cardinals are sneaking up on the 1990 Cardinals and 1978 Cardinals for the worst winning percentage in franchise history since 1978. The 2023 season has been abysmal to watch. It started off rough with player disputes, nagging injuries, and underperformance from the pitching staff and defense. While the offense has been as stout as ever, it hasn't been enough to make up for the holes in the other facets of the game.

Once-MVP players such as Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado aren't themselves this year. Goldschmidt's OPS+ is 20 points below his career average, and the advanced defensive metrics are not fond of Arenado this year. Furthermore, the much-maligned pitching staff from the offseason has performed about as poorly as expected. Currently, players who were figured to be the 8-10 starters are now slotted in at the 3-5 spots in the rotation. Adam Wainwright has not been himself, and it has been sad to see him go out like this.

The team has a 55-72 record this year, and they are projected to finish 15-20 games below their preseason projections. It is fully plausible that the Cardinals finish with less than 70 wins this year, as their current record has them on pace to win exactly 70 games.

From a statistical standpoint, the Cardinals are in the top 5 in OPS+, OPS, and on-base percentage. They find themselves in the top 8 in slugging percentage, batting average, and home runs. Offensively, the team has been a top-7 team in baseball. The issue, however, is in the team's ability to score runs and prevent them. The Cardinals are 14th in total runs scored, 24th in ERA, 26th in ERA+, 27th in WHIP, and have given up the 25th most runs in all of baseball.

The 2023 season has been a disappointment due to inconsistent performances, falling short of expectations, and mismanagement from the front office and field manager. It has been a tough season to watch and will go down in the books as one of the worst seasons in franchise history.