In the best game of his career (a 7-0 domination of Milwaukee), Jaime Garcia pitched the Cardinals to their fifth win in the last six games. A look at some of the numbers from the hot streak.
While much credit for the recent surge in offense has deservedly gone to Hazelbaker and Diaz, let’s not overlook the turnaround from Matt Carpenter in the leadoff spot. Billed in the offseason as baseball’s most dynamic leadoff man, Carpenter has been among the many to thrive since the team left Pittsburgh. With two more doubles yesterday (and another hit by pitch), Matt is 8 for 23 (.348) in his last 6 games. 5 of the hits have been for extra-bases (3 doubles, a triple, and one home run). Add in 3 walks and 3 HPB, and Carpenter’s slash line for his last 29 plate appearances is .348/.483/.696 with 8 runs batted in.
With his RBI double, Carp is now 5 for his last 7 with runners in scoring position. Four of the five hits are for extra-bases.
The league hasn’t quite caught up with Jeremy Hazelbaker yet. With two more hits yesterday (including a home run), Jeremy now has hits in 11 of his last 22 at bats (.500), with 5 of them being extra-base hits (including 2 home runs). He now has 6 RBIs in his last six games and a .955 slugging percentage since the team left Pittsburgh. After going 7 for 12 with 4 extra-base hits and 3 RBIs in his first home series, the Brewers, for one, will be glad to be rid of him for a while.
Jeremy’s home run came on a 1-0 pitch. Over the last six games, Jeremy is 9 for 12 (.750) when he hits one of the first three pitches thrown to him. He is just 2 for his last 10 when the at bat stretches beyond 3 pitches. The home run also came in the seventh inning. Jeremy is 4 for his last 7 (including 2 home runs) in the seventh or eighth innings.
It’s good to see the ball jumping off Grichuk’s bat. Lucky two ways on his home run yesterday (lucky it wasn’t caught and lucky he wasn’t called out for passing Brandon Moss on the bases) Randall was nonetheless 2 for 3 and hit the ball hard. He is now 3 for his last 4 with runners on base, and is 5 for 10 with a home run and 5 RBIs on the home stand so far.
Randal’s hits came in the second and third innings. So far this year, Grichuk is 4 for 8 before the fourth inning and 2 for 16 thereafter.
With another walk yesterday, Randal Grichuk is now second on the team with 6, behind only Steven Piscotty, who has 7. Randal hits mid-April with a .387 on base percentage and an .827 OPS.
Yadier Molina stayed hot with another 2 for 4 yesterday. He is now 9 for 26 (.346) since the end of the Pirate series. Molina was also 7 for 12 in the Milwaukee series.
Both of hits came with a runner on base. Over the last 6 games, Yadi is 2 for 11 with the bases empty and 7 for 15 with at least one runner on.
Yadi’s seventh-inning single came on the first pitch thrown to him. He is now 4 for his last 5 when hitting the first pitch. That hit, coming with 2 outs, left Yadi 1 for 2 with 2-outs yesterday, and 5 for his last 10 when hitting with 2 outs.
Matt Holliday & Kolten Wong
Combining to go 0 for 6 yesterday, Matt Holliday and Kolten Wong haven’t prospered as much as the rest of the team has in these post-Pittsburgh days. Holliday is now 5 for his last 22 (.227) with a .261 on base percentage, and Wong is 4 for 21 (.190) with a .190 on base percentage. Kolten went 0 for 7 against Milwaukee.
Especially glaring for Holliday has been his recent struggles with runners in scoring position. After ending the fourth inning by popping out with runners at first and third, Matt is now just 1 for his last 10 in RISP situations.
Kolten Wong did drive in a run with a sacrifice fly, but also flew out to end the seventh with runners on the corners. He is now 0 for 11 this season with RISP and 0 for 16 with any runner on base. He was 0 for 2 with 2-outs yesterday and just 1 for his last nine while trying to extend an inning.
Twenty-four of the 29 batters that Garcia faced yesterday hit right-handed. They went one for 23. For the season, so far, righties (who hit only .218 against him last year) are just 5 for 39 (.128) – all singles – against Jaime.
Only 6 of Jaime’s starts last year came after a Cardinal loss. He gave us 5 quality starts, a 3-0 record, and a 1.11 ERA in those games. He is 1-0, 2.40 so far this year, as both of his starts so far this year have come after losses.
Only 3 of the 29 batters that Jaime faced extended the at bat for more than 5 pitches (they all struck out). Through his first two starts, batters hitting his first pitch are 3 for 13 (.231). Anyone who hasn’t hit Jaime’s first pitch is just 3 for 38 resulting in a slash line of .079/.163/.079 with 19 strikeouts.
Garcia, of course, had that rugged third inning in Atlanta when he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk. In the 14 other innings that he’s pitched so far this year, he has allowed 1 single in 44 at bats (.023). He has struck out 18 for the 47 batters he faced in those innings.
During their series’ against Atlanta and Milwaukee, the Cardinals have combined to hit .327, slug .576, reach base at a .404 clip, and score 8.67 runs per game. After a 3 for 8 day with runners in scoring position, St Louis has punctuated its 5-1 run by hitting .375 (27/72) and slugging .639 with RISP.
Nine of the 11 Cardinal hits came in the 15 at bats that lasted 3 pitches or fewer (.600). This included 5 of the 6 extra-base hits.
The late inning hitting continued yesterday as well. With 3 hits in the seventh inning and another in the ninth, the Cards have a team slash line of .378/.459/.757 after the sixth inning of their last six games, scoring 20 runs in those innings.
With two more home runs yesterday, St Louis now has 11 for the season in 318 team at bats. Their eleventh home run last season didn’t happen until game #15 (April 24), a sixth inning shot by Peralta against Garza in the team’s 501st at bat. The Cards also added 4 more doubles (they now have 24 for the season), to push their team slugging percentage to .481.