Three of the best Cardinals teams to not win the World Series in the 21st century

World Series: Cardinals v Red Sox Game 1
World Series: Cardinals v Red Sox Game 1 / Brad Mangin/GettyImages
2 of 3


The 2005 Cardinals team was absolutely loaded. Albert Pujols was in his prime, and so were Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen. St. Louis also had a filthy pitching staff that featured Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, Jeff Suppan, and Jason Marquis.

The bullpen was anchored by Jason Isringhausen, the all-time franchise leader in saves. Rolen was hurt at the beginning of the season and was on the shelf for the remainder of it, but the Cardinals weathered the storm thanks to a stacked roster. This was also the first year that they had David Eckstein at shortstop and the final ride for Hall-of-Famer Larry Walker.

The Cardinals won 100 games and curb-stomped the Padres in the NLDS, earning a sweep. They then advanced to the NLCS for a rematch of the 2004 series against the Astros, who were NL Central rivals at the time.

This time, it didn't end well. Pujols' towering home run off Brad Lidge helped force Game 6, but the Astros rebounded and eliminated the Cards, thus ending the 2005 season in bitter fashion, with the final scene at the Old Busch Stadium being the Astros celebrating.


2013 was also a special year for the Cardinals. They were a few years removed from losing Pujols to the Angels but had a very solid roster. Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter, David Freese, and Matt Holliday anchored a strong lineup.

On the pitching side, St. Louis had Adam Wainwright as the ace. Though Chris Carpenter was hurt, another solid arm emerged from within the system, that being Michael Wacha. Wacha earned NLCS MVP honors while Wainwright won 19 games and posted a 2.94 ERA.

After eliminating the Dodgers in the NLCS, The Cardinals marched onto the World Series, where they would meet the Red Sox.

The two teams traded wins in the first four games, but after Boston won Game 5 at Busch Stadium, they carried that momentum back to Fenway Park. The Cardinals couldn't contain David Ortiz, and Wacha had a clunker in Game 6 as the Red Sox capped off their championship run. Ortiz earned series MVP honors.