Cardinals Greatest teams: 2004
This is part of an ongoing series chronicling the greatest teams in Cardinal history. If you’d like to see the others featured, please browse them all by CLICKING HERE.
I have decided to do a new segment, in which I feature the greatest teams in Cardinals history. Though, they won’t be released in any particular order, I will start with the team that holds a special place in my heart, the team that really got me involved in the game of baseball, a team that should have won the World Series the 2004 St. Louis Cardinals. 2004 was a magical year for the Cardinals, their risky signing of Chris Carpenter turned out to be a huge reward, they had tremendous power stemming from three players who were known as the MV3, the team had a balance of great hitting, fielding, and pitching and the team went all the way to the World Series, where they were swept by the Red Sox in four games. A team that featured four of the members of our All time 25 man roster which you can view here, as well as our new manager, the 2004 team surely is one of the best Cardinals teams of all time.
Record: 105-57- NL Champs
Manager: Tony La Russa
Rotation: Matt Morris ( 15-10 4.72 ERA 131 K’s), Jason Marquis (15-7 3.71 ERA, 138 K’s), Woody Williams (11-8, 4.18 ERA, 131 K’s), Jeff Suppan (16-9, 4.16 ERA, 110 K’s), and Chris Carpenter( 15-5, 3.46 ERA, 152 K’s.)
Bullpen: Dan Haren (3-3, 4.50 ERA, 32 K’s), Julian Taveraz (7-4, 2.38 ERA, 48 K’s), Cal Eldred (4-2, 3.76 ERA, 54 K’s), Ray King (5-2, 2.61 ERA, 40 K’s), Steve Kline(2-2, 1.79 ERA, 35 K’s)
Closer: Jason Isringhausen (4-2, 47 Saves, 71 K’s, 2.87 ERA)
Catchers: Mike Matheny( .247 AVG, 5 HR, 50 RBI), Yadier Molina(.267 AVG, 2 HR, 15 RBI)
Infielders: Albert Pujols (.331 AVG, 46 HR, 123 RBI), Tony Womack (.307 AVG, 5 HR, 38 RBI), Edgar Renteria(.287 AVG, 10 HR, 72 RBI), Scott Rolen (.314 AVG, 34 HR, 124 RBI), Marlon Anderson (.237 AVG, 8 HR, 28 RBI), Hector Luna (.249 AVG, 3 HR, 22 RBI).
Outfielders: Ray Lankford(.255 AVG, 6 HR, 22 RBI), Reggie Sanders (.260 AVG, 22 HR, 67 RBI), Jim Edmonds (.301 AVG, 42 HR, 111 RBI), Larry Walker (.280, 11 HR, 27 RBI), John Mabry(.296 AVG, 13 HR, 40 RBI), So Taguchi (.291 AVG, 3 HR, 25 RBI).
Gold Gloves: Mike Matheny (C), Jim Edmonds(OF), Scott Rolen (3B)
Silver Sluggers: Albert Pujols (1B), Jim Edmonds (OF)
Rotation: 4 of the 5 starters won 15 or more games, these players were Chris Carpenter, Matt Morris, Jeff Suppan, and Jason Marquis. Woody Wiliams finished with 11 wins, a pretty solid rotation.
MV3: Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Jim Edmonds became known as the MV3 because all three of them had great offensive and defensive seasons, these players all deserved a shot at MVP yet none of them won it. Pujols finished third in the voting behind Barry Bonds and Adrian Beltre, while Rolen and Edmonds finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Legends: This team featured Ray Lankford, ALbert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Chris Carpenter, and Matt Morris who all were on either our 25 man roster, or our Cardinal legends feature. This team also featured Larry Walker who has a realistic shot at reaching the Hall of Fame though not for the Cardinals. This team also featured one of today’s biggest stars Dan Haren who was once a big prospect for the Cardinals who played briefly in 2003 and 2004 before being traded for Mark Mulder in one of the worst trades in franchise history.
- The Cardinals won 105 games, the most under the Tony La Russa era.
- The NLCS Game 7 is one of the most memorable games in recent Cardinal memory, highlighted by the amazing catch now famous from Jim Edmonds.
- The MV3 left us speechless and the Cardinals had something close to the MV3 this season with the forces of Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, and Matt Holliday.
- The Cardinals won the division just ahead of the Houston Astros.
- The Cardinals won the NL Pennant.