ARLINGTON, Tex. – The St. Louis Cardinals once again find themselves in the basement of the National League.
The Cardinals fell to 25-36 on Monday after their fourth consecutive loss and their seventh defeat in their last nine games.
The Cardinals briefly escaped the misfortune of the National League’s worst record in mid-May, but dug themselves into that hole again after being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. A walkoff loss Monday to the Texas Rangers set them back even more.
With more than one-third of the Major League Baseball season complete, only the Kansas City Royals (18-42) and the Oakland Athletics (12-50) has worse records in all of baseball.
Throughout franchise history, it’s not too often the Cardinals find themselves at the bottom of the National League this deep into a season. It’s even rarer that it leads to the Cardinals finishing a campaign dead last in the NL.
The Cardinals are risking some remarkable history if they finish last place in the NL as their record currently stands. That hasn’t happened in more than a century.
The last time the St. Louis Cardinals finished last place in the National League, World War I was nearing an end, sliced bread wasn’t yet a thing and the Cardinals didn’t have a World Series championship to their name. That year was 1918.
The Cardinals finished the 1918 season at 51-78, five and a half games behind the Boston Braves for the worst record in the National League.
Perhaps more remarkable about the Cardinals’ prolonged stretch of avoiding last place, every other NL team has finished last at least once since 1990. It’s not company the Cardinals want to join any time soon.
“Talking to the guys today, everyone is pretty confident that we are going to figure out a way to [turn the season around],” said Cardinals manager Oli Marmol after Monday’s loss via Bally Sports Midwest. “We still got 100 games to go.”
In recent weeks, baserunning mistakes, defensive errors, troubles driving in runners in scoring position, and big innings from opponents have plagued the Cardinals.
“Everyone is frustrated,” said Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, who went 5.1 innings in Monday’s loss, via Bally Sports Midwest. “I don’t know what to say. Fans are frustrated, too, I know.” Wainwright added, “We’re looking forward to playing consistent baseball,” as St. Louis battles through a slump.
The Cardinals are within a game of the Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies from first being able to jump out of the NL cellar. St. Louis is eight games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place in the NL Central and 7.5 games back for the closest National League Wild Card spot.
On deck, two more games in Texas before the Cardinals return home for a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.