Saying goodbye to the last vestige of the "old" Cubs-Cardinals rivalry

For the final time on Saturday night, the Chicago Cubs faced Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright. It marked the end of an era.

Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals have butted heads for over a century, and the rivalry has seen many cycles of players. One of the cycles that bring back a lot of intense memories between the two teams was the 2000s era. Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano squaring off against Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright were a big part of millennials like myself growing up.

Wainwright, 41, is the last remaining player from those 2000s clashes still playing. Pujols and Molina bowed out last season, and the likes of Lee, Zambrano, Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, and Kerry Wood have long since retired. He has stuck with St. Louis well beyond those days and took part in the Cubs-Cardinals 2010s era, which saw the two teams meet in the postseason for the first time ever in 2015.

His start against the Cubs Saturday night would mark the final time he would pitch against them. An era is officially over, as the last vestige of the 2000s Cubs-Cardinals rivalry will retire at season's end. Wainwright finishes with a 4.05 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 254 strikeouts, 93 walks, 140 earned runs, and 19-16 in 311.1 innings against the Cubs. 12 of his 19 victories recorded came at Wrigley Field, where he posted a 3.95 ERA.

When Wainwright made his first appearance against the Cubs on April 7, 2006, Greg Maddux was the starter for the North Siders with a lineup that consisted of Lee, Ramirez, Michael Barrett, Juan Pierre, Jacque Jones, Neifi Perez, Matt Murton, and Ronny Cedeño.

Despite the constant success the Cardinals had with Wainwright, the Cubs had their moments too during his tenure. Even in the late 2000s when they won back-to-back division titles in 2007 and 2008. Then of course 2015-2018 with four straight postseasons, three straight NLCS appearances, and a 2016 World Series victory. It was a great rivalry between the two teams, not lopsided like Chicago Bears fans have had to suffer against the Green Bay Packers over the past several decades.

The future of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry will always be exciting as the feud will never die. New seasons bring new players and great matchups, but now we officially say goodbye to the end of an era that helped define the clash of Chicago and St. Louis in the 21st century.

More Chicago Cubs News