The Cardinals return after winning the 1967 World Series and are primed to repeat.
Pitcher Bob Gibson wins both the MVP Award and the Cy Young Award this year, with a 1.12 ERA, 22 wins, and 268 strikeouts. From June 2 to July 30, Gibson allowed only two earned runs in ninety-two innings pitched. For the season, opposing batters only had a batting average of .184, and an on-base percentage of .233 against Gibson. Gibson also won a Gold Glove this year, as did shortstop Dal Maxvill and outfielder Curt Flood.
The Cardinals went 97–65 during the season, winning their second consecutive NL pennant, this time by nine games over the San Francisco Giants.
Divisions Split the Teams
Following the season, Major League Baseball announced plans to split both the National and American Leagues into East and West divisions starting with the 1969 season in order to accommodate the inclusion of two new franchises to each league. The Cardinals were assigned to the new National League East division. Originally, the Cardinals were placed in the National League West division. However, the New York Mets, wanting to compensate for the loss of home games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, desired three extra games against the Cardinals, the two-time defending NL champions. The Cardinals were thus moved to the National League East division along with the Chicago Cubs, who wished to maintain their long-standing rivalry with the Cardinals. The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds were correspondingly shifted to the National League West despite both being east of St. Louis and Chicago, a configuration maintained until 1993.
They lost in 7 games to the Detroit Tigers in the 1968 World Series.
World Series Game 1 Played on Wednesday, October 2, 1968 (D) at Busch Stadium II
BOX+PBP WP: Gibson (1-0) LP: McLain (0-1) HR: Brock (1)
World Series Game 2 Played on Thursday, October 3, 1968 (D) at Busch Stadium II
BOX+PBP WP: Lolich (1-0) LP: Briles (0-1) HR: Cash (1), Horton (1), Lolich (1)
World Series Game 3 Played on Saturday, October 5, 1968 (D) at Tiger Stadium
BOX+PBP WP: Washburn (1-0) LP: Wilson (0-1) SV: Hoerner (1) HR: Cepeda (1), McCarver (1), McAuliffe (1), Kaline (1)
World Series Game 4 Played on Sunday, October 6, 1968 (D) at Tiger Stadium
BOX+PBP WP: Gibson (2-0) LP: McLain (0-2) HR: Brock (2), Gibson (1), Northrup (1)
World Series Game 5 Played on Monday, October 7, 1968 (D) at Tiger Stadium
BOX+PBP WP: Lolich (2-0) LP: Hoerner (0-1) HR: Cepeda (2)
World Series Game 6 Played on Wednesday, October 9, 1968 (D) at Busch Stadium II
BOX+PBP WP: McLain (1-2) LP: Washburn (1-1) HR: Kaline (2), Northrup (2)
World Series Game 7 Played on Thursday, October 10, 1968 (D) at Busch Stadium II
BOX+PBP WP: Lolich (3-0) LP: Gibson (2-1) HR: Shannon (1)