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Lineup Notes for the Second Half Surge

The Cardinals are undefeated this month when Austin Gomber (5 starts), Miles Mikolas (5 starts) and Jack Flaherty (4 starts) are the starting pitchers.  All of their August losses have come when either John Gant (2-3) or Luke Weaver (1-2) have started.

For the season, the Cardinals are 19-7 (.731) when Mikolas starts.  They are 54-51 (.514) when someone else starts.

The Cards are 17-2 (.895) so far this month when Jose Martinez starts, scoring 5.53 runs per game.  There have only been 5 August games so far where Martinez was not in the starting lineup.  The Cards are 2-3 in those games, scoring just 21 runs.

In fact, since the All-Star Break, Jose has started 26 of the Cardinals’ 37 games.  St Louis is 21-5 (.808) in those games.  St Louis is just 4-7 (.364) in the other 11 games.

Dexter Fowler made 14 second-half starts.  St Louis was 6-8 (.429) in those games, averaging 4.93 runs per game.  With Dexter out of the lineup, St Louis has been 19-4 (.826) since the break.

I should point out that immediately after he took over as manager, Mike Shildt made a public commitment to playing Fowler every day – a commitment that he, no doubt, would have kept had Fowler not broken his foot.

Conversely, St Louis is 5-4, scoring just 46 runs this month when Tyler O’Neill is in the starting lineup.  They are 14-1 (.933) scoring 5.33 runs per game when he doesn’t start.

Other notables in the Cardinals’ second half surge are Harrison Bader (20-5), Kolten Wong (16-4), and Jedd Gyorko (18-6).

For the season, the Cardinals are 48-33 (.593) when Paul DeJong starts, and 49-34 (.590) when Wong starts.  Both of these very important pieces of the Cardinal puzzle have missed about 50 games this season due to injury – with Wong set to miss a few more.

In spite of the fact that Wong is a left-handed batter, St Louis is 7-0 in the second half, and 12-4 (.750) for the season, averaging 6.19 runs per game when Kolten get the start against a left-handed pitcher.  They are 12-11 (.522) scoring 4.70 runs per game when they face a lefty without Kolten in the lineup.

St Louis is 13-2 (.867) against left-handed starters since the All-Star Break.

By Batting Order Position

Leadoff

Matt Carpenter has firmly, finally and irrevocably claimed the leadoff spot in the Cardinal batting order.  He has hit first in 23 of the 24 August games, and 35 of the 37 second half games.

For the season, Matt has hit leadoff in 86 of the 131 games.  St Louis is about the same with him (48-38, .558 winning percentage, 4.63 runs per game) as without him there (25-20, .556, 4.53 runs per game).

Of the other two players who hit leadoff at least 10 times, the Cards were 13-9 (.591) when Tommy Pham hit leadoff, and 9-8 (.529) when Fowler hit leadoff.

Batting Second

Since Shildt took over, Yadier Molina has been entrenched in the second slot.  He has hit there in 23 of 24 August games, and 35 of the first 37 second half games.

For the season, they are 26-12 (.684) scoring 5.18 runs per game when Yadi hits second.  Carpenter has hit here 15 times so far this season, with the team going 9-6 (.600) in those games.

Although he is no longer with the club, Pham leads the team by hitting second in 46 games in 2018.  The Cards were only 21-25 (.457) in those games.

Batting Third

While the rest of the batting slots are not as automatic as the first two under Shildt, Jose Martinez has gotten the bulk of the at bats in the three hole.  In his 15 August starts batting third, the Cards are 13-2 (.867).

The only other player to hit third at least ten times in the second half is DeJong, although the team is just 9-8 in his 17 starts there.

For the season, St Louis is 42-31 (.575) when Martinez bats third; 11-10 (.524) with DeJong there (although they score 4.90 runs per game in those games); and 9-8 (.529) with Carpenter.

Cleanup

Until he went down with an injury, Marcell Ozuna held down the fourth spot in the order.  In his 20 August games in this spot, St Louis was 16-4 (.800).  St Louis was also 20-11 (.645) in his 31 second half starts there.

For the season, St Louis is 64-54 (.542) when Ozuna bats cleanup.  They are 9-4 (.692) scoring 5.23 runs per game when he doesn’t.

Batting Fifth

As with Martinez in the third slot, the Cardinals have flourished this month with Paul DeJong hitting fifth.  They are 13-2 (.867) with him there, scoring an average of 6.07 runs per game.

Over the course of the whole season, St Louis is 15-2 (.882) when DeJong hits fifth.  Of the others who have hit there, Molina has made the most starts – 41 (21-20, .512), followed by Jedd Gyorko’s 28 starts (12-16, .429), and Jose Martinez’ 21 starts (10-11, .476).  The only other Cardinal who has hit fifth at least 10 times with a record at least two games over .500 is Fowler.  The Cards are 7-3 the 10 times Dexter has hit fifth.

Batting Sixth

Once again, Jedd Gyorko has emerged from a bench role to claim an everyday spot in the season’s second half.  This month, Jedd is batting sixth (14 times) with the team winning 12 of those games (.857).  They are scoring 6.50 runs per game with Jedd batting sixth.

His 36 starts batting sixth lead the team this year.  The team’s 22-14 record (.611) and run production per game (5.11) are also substantially better than everyone else who has hit there at least a dozen times.  The team is 12-11 (.522) when Fowler hits sixth, 7-7 with both Molina and DeJong in this spot, and 6-7 with Wong.

Of note is rookie utility man Yairo Munoz, who has hit sixth 11 times this year.  The team is 10-1 (.909), scoring 6.18 runs per game in those games.

Batting Seventh

Bader has hit here the most this month (11 games, with the team going 7-4 in those games), but they have done the best (8-0) when Wong hits here.

For the season, St Louis is 20-5 (.800) when Wong hits seventh.

Batting Eighth

No Cardinal hitter has yet hit eighth in as many as ten games this month.  Bader has come close – he has hit there 9 times, and Wong has the second most with 5.  The Cards have been undefeated in all 14 of those games.

The Cards are 10-1 in the second half with Bader batting eighth, and 15-4 (.789) for the season when Harrison hits there.