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The last series preview of 2023

What a season.

USA TODAY Sports - Archive The Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK

You cannot say the 2023 season was not memorable.

Well, you could. You can say whatever you want — I will not tell you what to do. But if you ask me, it is not a season I will not be able to forget any time soon.

First of all 2023 serves a stark reminder that I had been taking the St. Louis Cardinals for granted in way. Every year I would assume things would just work out for them because it usually did. It was a reality check. Even the Cardinals can have a down year. It is almost comforting in a way. The Cardinals — a competitive team year after year — can have a bad year. Everyone can.

The source of the bad year sort of depends on who you ask. Part of it was probably a lack of top of the rotation starting pitching. Some of it could be due to some untimely injuries like the one to Tyler O’Neill near the beginning of the season. I think a quite a bit of it was some bad luck on sequencing. It was a weird season to watch. They would just have streaks of games where they would be on a terrible losing skid. There is a point in June where they went 2-11 over two weeks of games. I have never seen the Cardinals do that. The first five losses of that skid they had a -7 run differential. They lost by two runs, one, one, one, and two. In one-run games this season they went 16-26 for a .381 winning percentage. I had to look back to 2003 to find anything close that when they went 14-25 in one-run games.

So the Cardinals have some work to do for next year. They have a pitching situation to sort out for sure. They should have around $50 million in budget to work with, according to our very own J.P. Hill. This offseason should be quite interesting indeed. I know I have some work to do as well, site-wise. My first year as site manager is wrapping up. I have some things I am not pleased with myself about that I am going to work on and I am lucky to have all these wonderful and talented writers bearing with me still. I certainly would have thrown a conniption without them. I look forward to reading all their offseason content and I look forward to hopefully getting to talk baseball with you all a little more!

We face the conclusion of the season. The Cardinals are set to take on the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are clinging to a 5.5% change to make the postseason. The Cardinals play for nothing more than pride at this point. It is not the most compelling conclusion to this season, but it is perhaps a fitting one. It is a season where nothing seemed to come easy for the Birdos. In life, things often don’t, I’ve found. And even though times were tough and maybe you finally made it through, the end isn’t necessarily sunshine and rainbows or the dramatic and thrilling comeback. Sometimes it just is an end that signifies more work to do. So you continue on. And so will the St. Louis Cardinals.


Friday, September 29 at 7:15 pm CT: Brandon Williamson vs. Jake Woodford
Saturday, September 30 at 7:15 pm CT: Connor Phillips vs. Drew Rom
Sunday, October 1 at 2:15 pm CT: Hunter Greene vs. Miles Mikolas