Stats of the day, June 27

Stat of the Day, 1: The Cardinals are 4-17 when their starting pitcher allows more than three runs.

The thing is, in the early part of the season that wasn’t a problem, because it was never happening. Through May 5, Cards starters only had four games where they allowed more than three runs. Put another way, it happened four times in the season’s first 32 games, and 17 times in the last 43 games.
This speaks to a couple of issues, actually. One, as has been repeated ad nauseam, this team is playing in such a way where, if the starter is anything short of excellent, they’re going to have a tough time winning.
But there’s a second point, which goes hand-in-hand. And that’s that as the rotation is currently constructed, you can’t count on them being excellent nearly as often as you could early in the year. With Garcia regressing to the mean a bit, and Penny still out, lights-out starts are less the norm than they were in April.
So while this team would certainly benefit from getting something going consistently on offense, it would also be a major boost to get Penny back and dealing — so that even if they can’t start winning 7-6 games, they can win a few more by 3-1 scores.
Stat of the day, 2: Brendan Ryan is batting .210 with a .269 on-base percentage in June. 
I like Ryan a lot, both personally and as a defensive player. But with the season six days away from its halfway point, this looks less and less like a slump or two slumps or three slumps, and more like a bad year. Whether the answer is to return Felipe Lopez to being the primary shortstop (though he’s not exactly tearing it up), or to give Tyler Greene a better look (and Greene is RAKING at Memphis), it does look like it’s time to dial Ryan back once again.
Stat of the day, 3: Felipe Lopez is at 194/267/299 for June. Yadier Molina is at 175/246/238. For all the talk about hitting with runners in scoring position, or Pujols and/or Holliday not having the kind of torrid runs that people are used to seeing, this in my opinion remains the biggest issue with this offense.
It’s not timing the hits, and it’s not the sluggers. The issue is the number of spots in the batting order that have been completely unproductive. It’s just extremely difficult to overcome a situation where three lineup spots — as was the case Sunday, with Lopez, Molina and Ryan all starting — are offering so little.
Fun with double situational splits: Against right-handers in road games, Colby Rasmus is batting .368 with a .468 on-base percentage and a .779 slugging percentage.
And, finally, the playlist:
The Black Keys, “Next Girl”
Cold War Kids, “Coffee Spoon”
Them Crooked Vultures, “Mind Eraser, No Chaser”
The Dead Weather, “Die By the Drop”
Sleigh Bells, “Infinity Guitars”
-M.

5 Comments

Hey M,

Noticed LaRue was wearing hockey-style catching gear today. I recall he normally wear more traditionally gear, opposed to Molina, who sticks with the more modern gear. Any particular reason?

-KB

is the Ottavino experiment over?

KB: LaRue has been wearing the hockey-style catcher gear for at least a couple of years. Gary Bennett wore the old style mask, but LaRue hasn’t worn it in a while.

Matthew, I agree that having 3 (or more w/ some lineups) unproductive spots in the lineup makes it more difficult to put rallies together and put run across the plate, but there is absolutely no question that both Albert and Matt have failed, more often than not, to bat runners in. Take for example, the game on Saturday. Albert came up with the bases loaded in the 1st inning and with 2 men on in the 2nd inning. He failed both times to put the ball in play. I don’t care that Albert’s season BA is over .300, he is not right this year. I have thought there was something different about his demeanor since the season started. I’ve recently concluded that it’s his intensity. He doesn’t seem as intense and hard-driving as he has been in past years. Of course, I can only go by the couple hours a day that I see him on the field and the rare post-game interview–you see him far more–but he has seemed different. What are your impressions of him this year?

Pujols and Holliday not having “torrid runs?” They’re not even having “tepid” runs. At least Holliday has been hitting a little better lately. But Albert? How many times can one man hit into a double play with two on and one out?

I’ve given up on waiting for Pujols to come to bat in a key situation. I’m hoping for Ludwig or Winn.

Pujols is hitting well over .300 with runners in scoring position. How is that not clutch in key situations? I don’t think Holliday’s is even close to that. You can hate on Albert because he’s not hitting 30+ HRs already, the guy is human you know. I thought he was hurt in the groin area most of this year. I just want to see Rasmus’s AVG go up, and for the fire starter guys (Schumaker, Ryan, Lopez) to start clicking all at once. If this team ever started firing on all cylinders it’s run away with the central time. The starting pitching is good, if the pen can hold it.

LOL @ Winn’s volleyball reenactment last night!

Also, Matthew, I would die to have a job like yours!

I do my own blog on the Cardinals daily. Just a little fan slice of the experience of being a Cardinals fan my whole life.

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