2009 MLB season in review: St. Louis Cardinals

After covering the 22 teams that did not make the playoffs, it is nice to start to take a look at the eight teams that did make the MLB playoffs and can consider themselves somewhat successful. For the St. Louis Cardinals their regular season was certainly a success and they kin of snuck up on everyone by winning the National League Central when most baseball pundits were more focused on the Chicago Cubs. At the trade deadline they added OF Matt Holliday, and while they eventually lost in the opening round of the playoffs, at least they made a run at another title.

Their final record was 91-71 and they won their division by 7.5 games over the Cubs. In all this team spent 148 days in first place, and after struggling through the early part of May where they were at worst three games out of first, they struggled through June, but after acquiring Holliday at the trade deadline this team never looked back. IN early September they had built an 11.5 game lead and that was big enough to overcome this club’s late season slump.

Without a doubt this is a team led by Albert Pujols and their offense. As a team they batted .263, scored 730 runs, hit 160 home runs, and only struck out 1,041 times. They were able to draw 528 walks. While this team certainly has big offensive weapons their pitching staff is pretty good as well. Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Joel Pineiro all won at least 15 games, and their staff ERA was 3.66. They gave up only 640 runs, 1,407 hits, and 123 home runs.

In all 3,343,252 fans came to Busch Stadium III to see Cardinals home games. That was good enough for fourth among the 30 MLB teams, and for their 81 home games they averaged 31,814 fans. For the entire season, they were able to sell 88.1% of their ticket inventory.