However this afternoon’s match-up turns out, the Cubs have effectively dampened the season-opening home stand. If the Cardinals can manage to salvage the last game, the home stand that began so promisingly (think 6 home runs in a game and Garcia’s 13-strikeout, 1-hit shutout) would end at just 5-4. Moreover, the team that entered the home stand just 2 games behind Chicago will be fortunate to hit the road again trailing by just three.
If the home stand has been largely disappointing, it has, at least, given Matt Adams an opportunity to get his name back in the mix at first base. Adams hit .329 at Busch last year (albeit in just 73 at bats), and after a 2-for-3 night last night is 5-for-11 (.455) during the home stand, including a double and a home run. He’s played in all eight games – although he’s started only two – but carries an .818 slugging percentage into the home stand’s final game.
Yadier Molina has been one of the few Cardinals to sustain his hot streak through the entire home stand. He had 2 hits last night, driving in the only run for the Cardinals, and is now hitting .444 (12-for-27) with one game to play. His RBI was his fifth of the home stand.
Kolten Wong managed six hits in the season-opening, six-game road trip. He arrived home carrying a decent .261 average (albeit with no runs batted in). But his has been one of the principle missing bats over the last eight games. After his 0-for-2 last night, Kolten is just 2-for-17 (.118) on the home stand. His season batting average has fallen to an even .200.
Jaime Garcia’s second start of the home stand wasn’t as dominant as his first, but he did add seven more strikeouts in his five innings, giving him 20 over 14 innings in those two starts.
Although there have been a few pitching hiccups over the home stand, overall the pitching is beginning to look a little more like the staff we were hoping to see. After scuffling through the season-opening road trip with a 4.39 team ERA (featuring a 6.25 ERA from the starters), the home stand has produced a 3.25 team ERA, including 3.51 from the starters. Opposing teams hit .304 against our starters on the road, but just .236 against them at home.
St Louis was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position last night. Since Brandon Moss’ 2-run homer that pulled the Cards to within one run of Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon, St Louis is 0 for its last 19 RISP opportunities.