ST. LOUIS – For the first time since 2007 and just the second time in the 21st century, the St. Louis Cardinals will officially finish a full season with a losing record.
The Cardinals dropped their 82nd game of the season, falling in dramatic fashion: A bases-loaded strikeout, down one run with two outs in the ninth inning. Philadelphia Phillies 5, St. Louis Cardinals 4.
And with that, the Cardinals will finish with more losses than wins in their 162-game slate.
The 2023 season, compounded by untimely injuries and inconsistencies, has resulted in many unprecedented stretches of losses.
- The Cardinals suffered their worst losing steak of the season (eight games) from late-April to early May, capping a brutal stretch of two wins in 15 games.
- The Cardinals were unable to win their first series opener of the season until their 12th series of the season (May 8 against the Chicago Cubs)
- The Cardinals have fared just 17-25 against division opponents to date, including a rare season series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in brutal fashion (4-9).
- The Cardinals had a small season-best winning streak of six in July and were unable to string more than four consecutive wins at any other point of the season.
- The Cardinals were last place in the National League in winning percentage as recently as June 16 with a 27-43 record.
- The Cardinals fell to a season-worst 20 games below the .500 mark in late August.
As they finish below .500, there are a few things to monitor with the Cardinals’ subpar season moving forward…
- Can they play spoiler? The Cardinals have 15 games left and series against all but one team still fighting for postseason.
- How soon will they be eliminated? The Cardinals elimination number for a Wild Card spot stands at four, and Friday’s loss officially eliminates them from an NL Central crown. They could be eliminated from postseason for good by the end of this weekend’s home series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Will they finish last in NL? The Colorado Rockies are likely going to take this title, currently at 54-92. They are behind the Cardinals nearly 10 full games. It would have to be a rather odd stretch of winning and another brutal stretch of losing for the Cardinals, but perhaps stranger things have happened.
- Last in NL Central? That’s certainly more likely. The Cardinals trail the Pittsburgh Pirates by 3.5 games for the worst record in the division and will not play them head-to-head again this season.
One guarantee: With the Cardinals now at 65 wins, they cannot lose 100 games this season. Their in-state rivals (the Kansas City Royals) and the Oakland A’s both have 100 losses this season, while the Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies are all on a close pace for that grim feat as well.
The Cardinals close the regular season on Oct. 1 against the Cincinnati Reds. Friday marked the start of a seven-game homestand against the Phillies and Brewers.