|2004 St. Louis Cardinals|
|National League Champions|
National League Central champions
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||William DeWitt, Jr.|
|General manager(s)||Walt Jocketty|
|Manager(s)||Tony La Russa|
|Local television||Fox Sports Midwest|
(Joe Buck, Dan McLaughlin, Al Hrabosky)
(Ricky Horton, Bob Carpenter, Rich Gould)
|Local radio||KMOX |
(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 wins 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.
The 2004 St. Louis Cardinals were the first team to lose the World Series to a "Moneyball" style team roster on the side of the Red Sox.
- December 2, 2003: Signed free agent pitcher Chris Carpenter.
- December 13: Traded outfielder J. D. Drew and catcher Eli Marrero to the Atlanta Braves for pitchers Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright.
- January 10, 2004: Signed free agent pitcher Alan Benes.
- February 12: Signed free agent John Mabry.
Opening Day starters
- Jim Edmonds
- Ray Lankford
- Mike Matheny
- Matt Morris
- Albert Pujols
- Édgar Rentería
- Scott Rolen
- Reggie Sanders
- Tony Womack
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 7, 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.
National League Central
|St. Louis Cardinals||105||57||0.648||—||53–28||52–29|
Record vs. opponents
2004 National League Records
- August 6: Traded Jason Burch (minors) and players to be named later to the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Larry Walker. The Cardinals sent pitchers Luís Martínez and Chris Narveson on August 11 to the Rockies to complete the trade.
|2004 St. Louis Cardinals Game Log (105–57)|
Postseason Game Log
|2004 St. Louis Cardinals Postseason Game Log (7–8)|
|2004 St. Louis Cardinals|
Starters by position
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 Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
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|
Awards and honors
- Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds finished third, fourth and fifth in the MVP voting, eliciting the nickname MV3.
- La Russa finished second in the NL Manager of the Year voting.
NL Comeback Player of the Year
- Albert Pujols
- Shaughnessy, Dan (2005). Reversing the Curse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-51748-0.
- J. D. Drew Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- John Mabry Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- 2004 St. Louis Cardinals Roster by Baseball Almanac
- ESPN.com News Services (August 6, 2004). "Rockies get three prospects for Walker". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- Jenkins, Lee (October 14, 2004). "New no. 2 hitters aren't second-rate". The New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- Associated Press (August 8, 2004). "Walker walks, then Molina wins it". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Larry Walker Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Jaffe, Jay (December 15, 2016). "JAWS and the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot: Larry Walker". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- Miklasz, Bernie (October 13, 2014). "A closer look at Cards' homer bash". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Anderson, Dave (October 6, 2004). "Walker puts on show for show-me Missourians". The New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- "Larry Walker stats, fantasy & news (Career biography)". MLB.com. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- Powers, John (October 23, 2004). "La Russa Keeping Options Open". Boston Globe. p. E7.
- Leach, Matthew (October 28, 2006). "Cards secure 10th World Series title". MLB.com. stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Finley, Bill (October 24, 2004). "Walker is dangerous when others give way". The New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- "2004 World Series: Boston Red Sox over St. Louis Cardinals (4–0)". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- "Baseball-Reference 2004 Season Award Index". Baseball-Reference.com.
- Goold, Derrick (December 24, 2011). "Cardinals recast the 'MV3'". stltoday.com. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- "Baseball-Reference NL Gold Glove Award Winners". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Baseball-Reference NL Silver Slugger Award Winners". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "2004 League Championship Series – STL vs. HOU". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
- Baseball America 2005 Annual Directory