Before the 2022 season began, many seemed to think the Cardinals would not be very good. Instead.they went 93-79 and won the NL Central division title. They got bounced out of the playoffs in the wild card round by the Phillies, who went on the win the NL pennant. This year is the first time a division winner has had to play in the wild card round due to the playoff expansion to six teams per league, and it was thus the first time a division winner ever got eliminated in the wild card round. Their season also marked the end of the storied careers of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, both of whom had announced early on that this year would be it for them. Pujols, in particular, seemed to be energized by it and had his best season in years. He also surpassed 700 career home runs, becoming only the 4th player to do so. The season did not end in the story book fashion Cards fans no doubt hoped, but it was memorable nonetheless.
A lot of folks thought Adam Wainwright might join his veteran teammates and retire too. Instead he will be back for another season in St Louis. Molina’s spot in the lineup will be filled by free agent acquisition Wilson Contreras, a signing made even sweeter to Cards followers since that hurts the Cubs.