They only had one losing season, which came in 2007. The previous year, they had their second-worst season of the decade, winning only 83 games. That would be 2006, the Cardinals' most recent season.
The Cardinals have never finished below.500 since moving to St. Louis in 1882. They've won at least 90 games every year except for the strike-shortened 1994 season when they went 77-85. The Cardinals have made the playoffs nine times, most recently in 2012 when they lost to the Yankees in six games. Before that, they hadn't been back since 2004 when they were defeated by the Red Sox in seven games.
Before the 1967 expansion draft, when the Cardinals chose Joe Medwick from Chicago as their first pick, they played in the National League's Western Division. The Cubs were already a strong team, having just won their first World Series title, so it wasn't a surprise that they picked up another good player in Medwick. He ended up playing three seasons for the Cards and batting over.300 each time out. After 1967, the Cardinals moved into the Eastern Division, which they've stayed in ever since.
In 1992, the Cardinals decided to take a chance on young pitcher Eric Walker from the San Diego Padres.
The 1985 St. Louis Cardinals season was the franchise's sixty-sixth in the league. The club only won five games, failing to improve on their prior record of 9-7. They finished last in the National League West by three points over the San Francisco Giants. Midseason acquisition Joe Magrane led the team in batting average with a mark of.443.
In the opening game of the season, the Cardinals lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1. Hall of Famer Tom Seaver pitched a complete-game victory for his first win as a Cardinal. In their next game, they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates at home by an 8-7 score. Joe Magrane had four hits and two RBIs in this game. In their third game, the Cardinals lost to the Miami Marlins by a 7-6 decision. Tony Perez had two homers and six RBIs in this game. Hal McRae was credited with the win after pitching seven strong innings with nine strikeouts. In their next game, the Cardinals defeated the New York Mets at home by a 4-3 score. Jose Oquendo had two hits and an RBI in this game. Joe Magrane hit his second homer of the season and Mark Wiley added another one in this game.
Their final game of the opening series was a loss against the Chicago Cubs.
Following the San Francisco Giants' 7-1 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, October 2, the Cardinals were eliminated from postseason (Wild Card) contention. The Cardinals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
In addition to losing 1-0, the Cardinals also lost their final game of the season when they fell to the Miami Marlins 4-3 in 12 innings on Monday, September 27. That ended the Cardinals' season and prompted manager Mike Matheny to say after the game that he was "disappointed for our group to finish the year like this." He went on to say, "I think we've shown a lot of heart all year long, but we just haven't been able to finish some games off."
The Cardinals finished the season with a 74-88 record, which was good for third place in the NL Central division. They had made the playoffs each of the previous two seasons by finishing first in their division.
This is the first time the Cardinals have been eliminated from playoff contention before the World Series since 2008. That year, the Cardinals lost to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series.
The Cardinals last appeared in the World Series in 2006, when they lost to the Houston Astros in seven games.