In the count down of the last 40 World Series champions, the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals rank No. 40.
As difficult as it is to rank teams over a 40 year period, this club clearly is the weakest. The 2006 Cardinals finished the regular season 83-78 and played below .500 after the All-Star break. No pitcher on this team won more than 15 games.
This team was capable of scoring runs. Albert Pujols lead the Redbirds with a .331 average, 49 home runs and 137 RBI. Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Juan Encarnacion and Chris Duncan also contributed to the St. Louis power supply. Rolen and Duncan each hit 22 home runs and Edmonds and Encarnacion added 19 each.
Chris Carpenter enjoyed a fine season recording 15 wins against 8 losses with a 3.09 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. The rest of the rotation was weak and the bullpen was not any better. Their closer, Jason Isringhausen was 4-8 with a 3.55 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and only 33 saves. The Cardinals pitching staff as a whole recorded a hefty 4.54 ERA
Fortunately for the Cardinals, the pitching staff was able to correct their ways and recorded a 2.05 ERA in defeating the Detroit Tigers in five games. The starters were dominating but the bullpen was nearly perfect. They posted an 0.90 ERA with a 0.70 WHIP. Braden Looper was the only reliever to allowed an earned run.
The World Series MVP was the unlikely weak hitting short-stop, David Eckstein. Eckstein hit .364 and tied with Jim Edmonds for a team high four RBI.