Since MLB went to three divisions in each league in 1995, the St. Louis Cardinals have made the playoffs ten times. In that time five players have been at their best in the playoffs. Here are the five Cardinals who have made their names playing October baseball.
Jim Edmonds, OF - The slick fielding center fielder was great in the playoffs. Edmonds came to St. Louis before the 2000 season, and the team went to the playoffs six of the next seven years. Edmonds had some legendary Cardinals moments in the National League playoffs. In the Divisional Series against the Braves in 2000, Edmonds hit .571 with four doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs to help the Cards advance to the NLCS that year. In 2004 Edmonds had seven RBIs in the NLCS against the Houston Astros. His walk-off home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS extended the series and let the Cards clinch the pennant the next day.
Chris Carpenter, P - Carpenter might be the best Cardinal postseason pitcher since Bob Gibson. Carpenter had wins in both the 2006 and 2011 World Series, both championships for St. Louis. Carpenter has wins in seven different playoff series for the Cardinals, with an overall postseason mark of 9-2. Last year's wins in the deciding Game 5 of the Division Series and Game 7 of the World Series put him forever into Cardinals playoff legend.
Adam Wainwright, P - Though he has a career postseason ERA of 0.51, Wainwright would make this list just from 2006 alone. Pressed into closer duty late in his rookie year of 2006, Wainwright went on to join a select few Cardinals pitchers who have gotten the final out of a World Series. To get there, he first had to save the 2006 NLCS, and he did so in dramatic fashion. Facing Carlos Beltran with the bases loaded, Wainwright struck out the Mets star looking to send the Cards back to the World Series. To cap off the title he struck out Detroit's Brandon Inge.
Yadier Molina, C - Since Molina made the team in 2004, the Cardinals have gone to the playoffs six out of nine years. Yadi has had several signature postseason moments, none bigger than his home run in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. The blow stunned the Mets and sent the Cardinals to the World Series. Molina hit .348 in that NLCS, with two home runs and six RBIs. In the World Series against Detroit he hit .412. In 11 playoff series Molina has a lifetime mark of .309, and in three World Series he has hit .341.
David Freese, 3rd base - Freese had no first-timer's stage fright in the postseason last year. Freese hit .397 in his first postseason, and he was named MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series. Freese hit .545 against the Milwaukee Brewers with three home runs and 9 RBIs. He would finish the 2011 postseason with 21 RBIs, most for a single postseason. All of that just set the stage for Game 6 of last year's World Series. With the Texas Rangers a strike away from a title, Freese tripled home the tying runs. He topped that in the 11th inning with a walk-off home run to force a deciding final game. He drove in two more runs in the first inning of Game 7, assuring he will never have to buy another drink in St. Louis.A native of St. Louis, Brad Boeker has rooted for the Cardinals for over 40 years.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jim Edmonds
- World Series