The St. Louis Cardinals in 2023 had no shortage of miscues and follies en route to finishing in last place in the division for the first time since 1990. The team's sights were set on another postseason run, and most fans had moderately high expectations. But as the season progressed and the Cardinals continued to bumble listlessly around the field, many fans' original enthusiasm and hopes faded into anger and eventually apathy.
There were some good moments despite the massive disappointment of a season; Adam Wainwright getting his 200th win in his final start has to top the list, and his at-bats in the final series of the season and subsequent sendoff were a sight to behold. The revelation that was Tommy Edman in center field was another great development on the season that could have a positive impact down the road, as was the emergence of Richie Palacios from relative anonymity to potentially put him into the Cardinals' plans for 2024.
Overall, though, a large number of players took steps back, including franchise cornerstones Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. The pitching was even worse, as the Cardinals finished 24th in team ERA at 4.79. Because of the underperformance of several key players on the team, most fans will remember the deep troughs of this season more than they will its crests. Five moments in particular, on the field and off, stand out as the worst of the Cardinals' season.