If there was a team that would surely beat the Cardinals, it’s this one
Note: This list mostly contains players from the more recent playing era, but includes some older players who just had a knack for killing the Cards.
Starting Pitcher- Bud Norris
Bud Norris isn’t usually described as being an absolutely dominant pitcher. Thus far into Norris’ career, he holds a 4.44 ERA and a .441 win-loss percentage (of the games he received a decision, only 44.1% were wins), which isn’t what you would expect to see on a “All-Star Team”.
However, against the Cardinals Norris has looked like a whole different pitcher. In his first 15 starts against the Cardinals, Norris held a 2.74 ERA, including a complete game shutout.
Fortunately for the birds, in his last start against the team he gave up 7 ER. Nevertheless, Norris is a player who just seems to have a knack for pitching to the Cardinals. So much so that the hashtag #BudChuck became popular on twitter, comparing his dominance to the martial artist legend Chuck Norris.
Starting Pitcher- Steve Carlton
Steve Carlton, one of the few retired players on this list, actually started out his career with the Cardinals. After being traded to the Phillies, Carlton just seemed to haunt the Cardinals everytime he got on the mount. In 59 starts against the team, Carlton went 38-14 and held a 2.98 ERA.
Closing Pitcher- Brad Lidge
Now a lot of people remember Brad Lidge pitching against the Cardinals by recalling Albert Pujols 3-run blast off of him in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS. Although he gave up that blast, its not really a good way to define his career against the Red-Birds.
In 53 games, Lidge limited the Birds to a .215 batting-average. Overall, Lidge held a not so impressive 3.40 ERA against the Cardinals, most of these came after the 2005 NLCS when Lidge fell off a cliff.
This was probably the easiest person to put on this list, because Thome just annihilated, I mean ANNIHILATED, the Cardinals. In 100 at-bats against the team, Thome batted an insane .430 with 18 HRs and 40 RBIs. This led to one of the OPS’s I’ve ever seen: 1.575.
2B- Scooter Gennett
Scooter’s spot on this team comes from his recent performances against the Cards. Not that long ago he had a 4 HR game against the Cardinals, becoming just the 17th player in MLB history to ever do that. Thats a more rare occurrence than a perfect game, which has happened 23 times in MLB history.
SS- Barry Larkin
This is one I had to spend a lot of time on. There’s no one player who really stands out as being a Cardinal killing short-stop. So in order to round out the team with some solid defense and some Hall of Fame play, we’re going to go with HoFer Barry Larkin. Since Larkin was a Cincinnati Red, he contributed to a lot of Cardinals losses over the years.
3B- Aramis Ramirez
Ramirez has been on three different teams during his career, all of them in the NL Central. So Ramirez has had his fair share of games against the Cardinals. Even with his decline in the past years, Ramirez still hold a career .309 batting average against the Cards. He’s also been known to hit some walk-offs against the Red-Birds (see below):
Outfield- Lance Berkman
Lance Berkman, a member of the 2011 Cardinals World Series team, was an effective player against the birds earlier in his career. In 154 games against the team, Berkman held a 1.016 OPS with 39 HRs and 118 RBIs.
Outfield- Hunter Pence
Now I have some bias here- Pence is one of my favorite players to watch. It’s just something about the way he moves. Its extremely ungraceful and graceful at the same time. For a time, while Pence was still on the Phillies, he was hitting .325 against the Cardinals and always seemed to find a way to best them.
Outfield- Andrew McCutchen
He should just go to a court and change his name to McClutchen, because I don’t want to even start remembering how many times McCutchen has lead some sort of comeback against the Cardinals. Heres an example to remind you:
Bench- Nyjer Morgan
The team only needs one bench player, and since Nyjer Morgan wasn’t necessarily good by any means this is where he belongs. But, if theres anyone who hates the Cardinals more than I would be really surprised, and that is why he deserves to be on this team. Heres a video for proof:
“…and they’re chasing us”-Nyjer Morgan, on the year that the Cardinals end up winning the World Series. How’s that for irony?
Photo Credit: David Kohl- USA Today Sports