As the year winds down, our 2014 Season Review looks back at some of the moments and people that made the season what it was as the St. Louis Cardinals went 90-72 and earned their fourth consecutive trip to the National League Championship Series.
–(July 5th) There were some additional fireworks at Busch Stadium as General Manager John Mozeliak shared his frustration with learning that Jaime Garcia would have season-ending thoracic outlet surgery from the training staff rather than the pitcher himself…
“You try to be patient with people,” explained Mozeliak. “I think this organization does an amazing job protecting players. Obviously, these are difficult times when you’re dealing with injuries but I certainly would’ve loved to have heard from him.”
Garcia had the surgery and stated during the playoffs he hoped to “get after it” before shutting things down for a normal offseason. His status has been termed “TBD” by the Cardinals until further evaluation this spring.
–(July 7-8th) A walk-off home run had not occurred for the Cardinals since David Freese’s blast in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, but on back-to-back nights Matt Adams and Kolten Wong delivered in the 9th for St. Louis to defeat Pittsburgh.
–(July 9th) Yadier Molina was forced to leave the game after spraining his thumb while sliding into third base in the second inning. An MRI revealed torn ligaments and Molina underwent surgery two days later and did not return to action until the end of August.
The Cardinals soon signed veteran catcher George Kottaras to help back up Tony Cruz, but later released Kottaras in favor of A.J. Pierzynski the end of the month.
–(July 11th) For the first time since he injured his hamstring on April 16th, Joe Kelly was on the mound starting a game for the Cardinals. He allowed six runs on seven hits in three innings, but St. Louis rallied for a 7-6 victory over Milwaukee.
–(July 12th) A 10-2 victory over Milwaukee moved the Cardinals into a tie for first place atop the NL Central. It was the first time St. Louis had been in the lead since April. Both teams had a record of 52-43.
–(July 15th) Matt Carpenter, Pat Neshek, and Adam Wainwright joined Mike Matheny in representing the National League in the All-Star Game. Already having the decision for him to start the game over Clayton Kershaw called into question by everyone outside of Cardinal Nation, Wainwright gained further scrutiny after a postgame comment regarding Derek Jeter left many believing he grooved one for the retiring star. The right-hander answered numerous questions over the next couple of days before offering one final explanation…
–(July 18th) The Cardinals moved to a four-man rotation and Shelby Miller was moved to the bullpen.
–(July 21st) Tempers flared as the Cardinals and Dodgers plunked Matt Holliday and Hanley Ramirez, with a few of the LA players having some additional comments after the game.
–(July 26th) Shelby Miller returned to the rotation to start in Chicago against the Cubs. He allowed two runs in 5.2 innings pitched for a no-decision in the 6-3 victory. A.J. Pierzynski made his first start behind the plate for St. Louis, going 3-4 and driving in a run.
–(July 29th) The Cardinals traded outfield prospect James Ramsey to Cleveland in exchange for pitcher Justin Masterson. The 6’6 right-hander was never able to regain his form, giving up 35 hits and 24 earned runs in 30.2 innings pitched for St. Louis.
–(July 31st) Allen Craig and Joe Kelly were traded to Boston in exchange for John Lackey, minor league pitcher Corey Littrell, and cash considerations. GM John Mozeliak explained it was not an easy decision to part with the two players, in particular with the key role Craig had played in the Cardinal’s success the last couple of years…
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