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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1990 Season

The 1990 season was one of transition for the franchise. The great teams of the 1980s were gone, and the mashers of the late 90s and early 2000s hadn't yet arrived. The Cardinals had many recognizable players still; Ozzie Smith won a Gold Glove at short, and Willie McGee won the batting title. Vince Coleman was stealing bases at a record-setting rate, and Ray Lankford was an up-and-coming prospect with promise. Aside from Ray Lankford, the roster was aging and on the wrong side of 30.

The 1990 Cardinals were the first team to finish last in the division since the 1918 season. The Cardinals haven't finished last in the division since 1990 (although this year may reset that track record). Also, the Cardinals finished 25 games behind the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

As with the 2023 season, the 1990 season struggled with finding good pitchers. Their staff as a whole ranked 20th in ERA+, 18th in ERA, and 20th in WHIP. Their FIP and HR/9 placed them in the top 3 in the league, however. In addition to below-average pitching, their offense also staggered throughout the year. The team's offense ranked 28th in OPS+, 22nd in batting average, 27th in OPS, and 29th in wins probability added. Ironically, the Yankees also found themselves at the bottom of the charts in most statistics that year.

After making it to the World Series three times in the 1980's the 1990 season started a run of poor seasons for the Cardinals. The team wouldn't make the playoffs again until 1996. Throughout the first half of the 1990's the team floated around a .500 win percentage. The 1990 season kicked off a series of underperforming teams.