Going into 2010, the St. Louis Cardinals were heavily favored to repeat as champions of the NL Central.
Matt Holliday signed a lucrative contract to continue patrolling left field at Busch Stadium for the next seven years, Brad Penny signed a one year "make good" contract to show that he was still a dominant pitcher, cult hero Felipe Lopez was scooped up off of the free agent pile for only $1 million, and the great Albert Pujols was coming off of his second consecutive NL MVP. Throw in the Gold Glove awards won by catcher extraordinaire Yadier Molina, and 19 game-winner Adam Wainwright, and the stars looked to be aligning in Redbird Nation.
Sadly, things never went as planned. The Cardinals scuffled mightily, as injuries and inconsistent play, coupled with the emergence of the Cincinnati Reds, derailed a season that began with championship expectations.
While the year was seemingly overrun with lowlights, there were also bright spots to be found. Let's take a look at the best and worst from the 2010 Cardinals.