The St. Louis Cardinals won 100 games in 2015, but fell to the Chicago Cubs in a four-game NLDS. Winning a hundred games in any season is a feat that deserves accolades, but considering the road blocks the Cards faced this season they might deserve an even bigger recognition.
That's at least what longtime MLB manager and current Chief Baseball Officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks Tony La Russa has to say about the recently-completed campaign.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported over the weekend that La Russa reached out to him after the club's Game 4 defeat to share some insight about this year's team. As was well documented, the Cards had to deal with a number of significant injuries to players including Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina, to name a few.
"From my time watching them (since the 1980s), being with them, and now being a has-been ex-Cardinal competing with them I can't think of a better regular season in Cardinals' history. It's at least tied for first," La Russa told Goold.
To outside observers, winning 100 games and failing to advance past the Division Series could be seen as a 'disappointment' - but to La Russa, that isn't the case with Mike Matheny's 2015 club.
Said La Russa to Goold to that effect: "It was a severe test of the entire organization and the players, major-league staff, and player development -- look how they had to respond. They had adversities beyond normal adversities. They got big hits and production from the reserves for their reserves. …The postseason is exciting and important, but it is also tremendously unpredictable. They had to do everything they had to get there. Their regular season should be applauded."
Based on their talented core, pitching staff and impressive young players, St. Louis should be capable of coming back strong in 2016 with another strong season..they just have one big decision to make before then.