|2004 St. Louis Cardinals|
2004 National League Champions|
NL Central champions
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||William DeWitt, Jr.|
|General manager(s)||Walt Jocketty|
|Manager(s)||Tony La Russa|
Fox Sports Midwest|
(Joe Buck, Dan McLaughlin, Al Hrabosky)
(Ricky Horton, Bob Carpenter, Rich Gould)
(Mike Shannon, Wayne Hagin, Bob Ramsey)
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The St. Louis Cardinals 2004 season was the team's 123rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 113th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 105-57 during the season, the most of any Cardinals team since 1944, and the first Cardinal team to win 100 or more games since 1985, and won the National League Central division by 13 games over the NL Wild-Card Champion Houston Astros. In the playoffs the Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3 games to 1 in the NLDS and the Astros 4 games to 3 in the NLCS to reach their first World Series since 1987. In the World Series the Cardinals faced the Boston Red Sox and were swept 4 games to 0. It was the final World Series played at Busch Memorial Stadium. Because the American League had home-field advantage as a result of winning the All-Star Game, Busch Memorial Stadium was where the Curse of the Bambino died.
Acquired via trade from the Colorado Rockies on August 6, 2004, Larry Walker, customarily the Rockies' number three hitter, became the Cardinals' number two hitter. The Cardinals already had Edmonds, Pujols and Rolen in the 3 through 5 spots. Walker made his Cardinals debut on August 8, playing the New York Mets, and appeared as a pinch-hitter and struck out in the seventh inning. He drew a walk from Mike Stanton in the ninth inning and scored the game-winning run on a Yadier Molina single.
|St. Louis Cardinals||105||57||0.648||--||53-28||52-29|
2004 National League Records
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
In three playoff rounds in 2004, Walker combined to hit .293/.379/.707 with a pair of home runs in each tournament, setting a franchise record for home runs hit by a left-handed batter in one postseason. Walker made his playoff debut with the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS versus the Dodgers, homering twice and scoring four runs in an 8-3 Cardinals win. He became the first Cardinal with a multi-home run game in LDS play.
St. Louis wins series, 3-1
|1||St. Louis 8, Los Angeles 3||October 5|
|2||St. Louis 8, Los Angeles 3||October 7|
|3||Los Angeles 2, St. Louis 0||October 9|
|4||St. Louis 6, Los Angeles 2||October 10|
In Game of the 1 National League Championship Series (NLCS) versus the Houston Astros, Walker was a home run short of hitting for the cycle. The Cardinals proceeded to take a 2-0 Series lead before losing three straight in Houston. Returning home for Game 6, the Cardinals took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning, but Houston tied it up. Jim Edmonds hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 12th to win the game. The next night, Albert Pujols helped St. Louis win Game 7 to clinch the series with a game tying hit. Scott Rolen brought him home on a two-run home run. Pujols was named the series MVP.
|1||St. Louis 10, Houston 7||October 13|
|2||St. Louis 6, Houston 4||October 14|
|3||Houston 5, St. Louis 2||October 16|
|4||Houston 6, St. Louis 5||October 17|
|5||Houston 3, St. Louis 0||October 18|
|6||St. Louis 6, Houston 4||October 20|
|7||St. Louis 5, Houston 2||October 21|
When the Cardinals reached the World Series, Tony La Russa became the sixth manager to win pennants in both leagues, following Joe McCarthy, Yogi Berra, Alvin Dark, and the managers in the 1984 World Series, Sparky Anderson and Dick Williams. La Russa had managed the Oakland Athletics to three straight pennants between 1988 and 1990 and winning the 1989 World Series. La Russa would try to join Anderson as the only men to have managed teams to World Series championships in both leagues. La Russa wore number 10 in tribute to Anderson (who wore 10 while manager of the Cincinnati Reds) and to indicate he was trying to win the team's tenth championship.
The Cardinals met a what was a potent Red Sox squad fresh off four straight victories over the Yankees following an 0-3 deficit in the ALCS. A comeback in this fashion in any North American major sports league had previously occurred only in the NHL. This was the third time the two teams have faced each other in the Fall Classic, with the Cardinals winning the previous two in 1946 and 1967. The Cardinals were again without a key player for the World Series: ace pitcher Chris Carpenter, who, after going 15-5, tweaked his shoulder in September and missed the entire post-season.
Making his World Series debut in Game 1, Walker collected four hits in five at bats with a home run and two doubles. His four-hit outing tied a Cardinals World Series record, becoming the seventh overall and first to so since Lou Brock in 1967, also against Boston.
The Cardinals were swept by the Red Sox in four games and struggled to hit, never taking a lead at any point in the series. Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds, the normally fearsome 3-4-5 hitters for the Cardinals, were six-for-45 with one RBI. The club batted .190 with a .562 OPS overall. Walker was one of very few exceptions, batting .357 with a 1.366 OPS. His two home runs accounted for the only two hit by the entire Cardinals team. In the 2004 postseason, Walker scored 21 percent (14 of 68) of Cardinals runs scored.
|1||Boston 11, St. Louis 9||October 23|
|2||Boston 6, St. Louis 2||October 24|
|3||Boston 4, St. Louis 1||October 26|
|4||Boston 3, St. Louis 0||October 27|
|AAA||Memphis Redbirds||Pacific Coast League||Danny Sheaffer|
|AA||Tennessee Smokies||Southern League||Mark DeJohn|
|A||Palm Beach Cardinals||Florida State League||Tom Nieto|
|A||Peoria Chiefs||Midwest League||Joe Cunningham, Jr.|
|A-Short Season||New Jersey Cardinals||New York-Penn League||Tommy Shields|
|Rookie||Johnson City Cardinals||Appalachian League||Tom Kidwell|