St. Louis Cardinals: Top 3 closers in team’s history

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Jason Isringhausen #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitching to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game on April 17, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Jason Isringhausen #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitching to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game on April 17, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
(Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /

When (and if) the 2020 baseball season gets underway the St Louis Cardinals will not have a clear-cut closer. For this reason, let’s examine the top closers in franchise history.

The revolving door which was the St Louis Cardinals closer’s position in 2019 led to nine different players securing a save. Three different pitchers saved at least six games and you’ve heard the old adage if a team has two closers (or three) they have no closers.

Long gone are the days of the “closer by committee” or even the days when closers regularly pitched more than one inning for a save (apologies to Josh Hader).

More from Call to the Pen

As the Cardinals wait out the Coronavirus scare contemplating who will assume ninth-inning duties this season, let us take a look at the top three closers in Cardinals history.

On the outside looking in: Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Sutter, Todd Worrell

When I think of closers, I think Dennis Eckersley, which is strange as he was a starting pitcher the first eleven years of his career. Eckersley saved 66 career games in two years with St. Louis, all after his fortieth birthday. He gets a token mention because he ranks seventh on the all-time saves list in major league baseball.

Bruce Sutter ranks fourth on the Cardinals all-time save list. He led the league in saves three times and finished with 127 in his four-year Cardinal career. Lack of longevity keeps him out of the top 3.

Todd Worrell led the league in 1986 with 36 saves, helping him win the Rookie of the Year award, but doesn’t crack the top-10 single-season save list in Cards history. In his career, he saved 129 games good enough for third on the team’s all-time list.