Ten games and three difficult series remain as the Cards try to outlast either the Mets or the Giants for one of the two available Wild Card positions. For the last time in the regular season, let’s see what trends we can mine from the various lineup combinations. We’ll follow this up tomorrow with a by-position examination.
Yadier Molina didn’t start yesterday for only the third time this month. The Cards have lost all three, scoring 3 runs in the process. Since the All-Star Break, Molina has only missed 9 starts. St Louis has lost 8 of the 9, averaging 1.78 runs per game. For the season, St Louis is 74-59 (.556) scoring 4.99 runs per game when Molina starts. They are 6-13 (.316) scoring 3.37 runs per game when he is not in the lineup.
Matt Carpenter has started 18 of the first 20 games this month. St Louis has lost 10 of them, scoring 3.28 runs per game. The Cards scored 19 runs in winning the two games that Matt didn’t start.
For the season, St Louis is 58-58 in Carpenter’s 116 starts, scoring 4.72 runs per game. They are 22-14 (.611) scoring 5.00 runs per game when he doesn’t. They are 14-19 (.424), scoring 4.52 runs per game when he starts against left-handed pitchers. St Louis has won 6 of the 10 games they’ve played against left-handers without Matt in the lineup, scoring 58 runs in those games.
Injuries, diminishing production, and limited defensive positions have all conspired against Matt Adams’ presence in the starting lineup. He has started just 21 of the 64 second half games. The Cards are 14-7 in those games, scoring 4.86 runs per game. In the 43 games he didn’t start, St Louis is 20-23, scoring 3.98. For the season, the Cardinals are a 37-29 team (.561), scoring 4.88 runs per game, when Adams is in the lineup, and a 43-43 team (.500) scoring 4.72 runs per game when he’s not.
Adams, as you might suspect, is most often deployed against right-handed pitchers. Twenty of his second half starts have been against righties – with the Cards winning 13 of those games (.650) and scoring 4.60 runs per game. They have lost 14 of the last 27 games that Adams hasn’t been in the lineup against righties. They have averaged 3.81 runs per game.
For the season, St Louis is only 33-28 when Matt starts against right-handers and 4-1 when he starts against left-handers.
Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright have combined to make 25 of the 64 starts in the season’s second half. St Louis is 16-9 when they start (.640) and 18-21 (.462) behind the rest of the rotation. For the season, the Cards are 20-11 in Adam’s 31 starts, scoring 5.23 runs per game for Adam. They are 60-61 (.496), scoring 4.68 runs per game for everyone else.
Ten of Adam’s match-ups have been against left-handed starters. The Cards are 7-3 in those games. They are 13-20 when anyone else starts against lefties.
Kolten Wong has started half of the team’s 64 second-half games. St Louis is 19-13 (.594) with Wong in the lineup, and 15-17 (.469) without him. For the season, Kolten has made 80 starts. The Cardinals are 46-34 (.575) when he does and 34-38 (.472) when he doesn’t.
Jhonny Peralta has started 40 times since the All-Star Break. St Louis is 19-21 in those games (.475) and 15-9 (.625) when he hasn’t been in the lineup. For the season, the Cardinals are 31-34 (.477) when Peralta starts, and 49-38 (.563) when he doesn’t.
Aledmys Diaz has started 96 games during his rookie season. St Louis is 54-42 (.563) scoring 5.21 runs per game in his starts. They are 26-30 (.464) scoring 4.07 runs per game when forced to play without him in the lineup.
His absence has been most felt against right-handed starters. Since the break, St Louis is 11-4 (.733) when Diaz starts against righties. They are 15-17 (.469) when they have to face right-handers without him. For the season, Aledmys has started against 64 of the 109 right-handed starters who have faced the Cards. They are 40-24 (.625) scoring 5.31 runs per game in those contests. When those right-handers haven’t had to deal with Diaz, the Cards are 20-25 (.444), scoring 4.02 runs per game.
The Cardinals are 56-45 (.554) scoring 5.04 runs per game in Randal Grichuk’s 101 starts. They are 24-27 (.471) when he is not in the lineup.
Randal has been in the lineup against 31 of the 43 left-handed starters St Louis has faced. They have won 17 of those games (.548), scoring 5.13 runs per game. They have lost 9 of the 12 (.250), scoring 4.00 runs per game when they have faced left-handers without Randal.
They are also 48-51 (.485) with Matt Holliday in the lineup and 32-21 (.604) without him.
Since the break, St Louis is 15-16, scoring 4.10 runs per game when Brandon Moss starts against a right-handed pitcher. They are 6-5, scoring 4.27 runs per game when he starts against lefties.
Matt Carpenter has been the leadoff hitter in 17 of September’s 20 games. Kolten Wong has led off in the other three games. St Louis is 8-9 with Carpenter there, scoring 3.41 runs per game. They have won 2 of the 3 that Wong has started, scoring 20 runs in those games.
Since the All-Star Break, Carpenter has been the leadoff hitter in 31 of the 64 games. He has led St Louis to a 15-16 record (.484), scoring 3.58 runs per game. They are 19-14 (.576) scoring 4.91 runs per game when anyone else leads off. Greg Garcia has made the second most starts there in the second half, leading the team to a 7-5 record in those games. They are also 6-3 since the break when Tommy Pham hits there.
Over the 152 games of the season so far, St Louis is 51-54 (.486) scoring 4.66 runs per game when Carpenter hits leadoff. With anyone else in that line-up spot, St Louis is 29-18 (.617) scoring 5.09 runs per game. Of the other 8 players who have hit leadoff at some point this season, only Garcia (16) and Pham (11) have made 10 or more starts in that position. St Louis is 10-6 behind Garcia and 8-3 behind Pham.
No one has hit second in the lineup more than 8 times so far this month. Since the break, though, Aledmys Diaz has re-taken the team lead. He has hit there 21 times in the second half, followed by Jedd Gyorko’s 20 and Stephen Piscotty’s 16. The team is 12-9 (.571) with Diaz, 10-10 (.500) with Gyorko, and 7-9 (.438) with Piscotty.
Throughout the season’s first half, Piscotty hit second early and then Diaz moved into the spot. Overall, St Louis is 36-26 (.581) when Aledmys bats second, and 23-23 when Stephen is there.
Piscotty has been the third-place hitter for 10 of the 20 September games so far. The Cards are 5-5 with him batting third, and 5-5 with someone else there.
Since the All-Star Break, the third spot in the lineup has been mostly split between Piscotty (26 starts) and Moss (18 starts). The Cardinal record is 16-10 (.615) when Piscotty hits there and 9-9 (.500) with Moss.
For the season, Matt Holliday has hit third 86 times, with the Cardinals winning only 40 of those games (.465). Of the other players who have hit third in at least ten games, the Cards are 19-11 (.633) when Piscotty hits there, and 12-9 (.571) when Moss hits there. When not batting leadoff, Matt Carpenter has hit third ten times. St Louis has scored 58 runs in those games, winning 7.
Six different players have hit clean-up so far this month, none of them more than six times. Since the All-Star Break, though, Brandon Moss has found himself hitting clean-up 17 times. That is the most on the team over the last 64 games. Others with more than ten games hitting cleanup are Piscotty (13 starts), Adams and Holliday (12 starts each). The Cards are 10-7 with Moss, 7-6 with Piscotty, and 7-5 with both Adams and Holliday.
For the season, Stephen Piscotty’s 55 starts at cleanup are the most on the team. They have won 28 of those games (.509) while scoring 5.02 runs per game. They are 17-16, 5.00 with Moss, and 13-14, 4.41 with Adams there. Randal Grichuk has started at cleanup 15 times this year. St Louis has averaged 5.67 runs in those games, winning 11 of them (.733).
Yadier Molina has mostly taken over the fifth spot in the lineup. He has hit there 14 times this month, leading the club to a 9-5 record and 4.57 runs per game. They are 1-5, scoring 14 runs total in the six games that Molina hasn’t hit fifth.
Yadi has hit fifth 37 times in the 64 second half games. St Louis is 23-14 (.622) scoring 4.95 runs per game when he does, and 11-16 (.407) scoring 3.33 runs per game when he doesn’t.
For the season, Molina will end up as the team leader in starts batting fifth, even though he has only hit there 64 times. The team has done well, winning 35 of those games (.547) and scoring 4.81 runs per game. They have also gone 16-11 (.593) with Adams there (scoring 4.81 runs per game). The run scoring has actually gone up with both Peralta (4.95 per over 21 starts) and Grichuk (5.31 per over 16 starts), but the team record is under .500 with both (9-12 with Peralta and 7-9 with Grichuk).
Brandon Moss has only hit fifth 4 times in the second half, but for the season he has landed there 13 times, leading the team to an 8-5 record with 5.00 runs per game.
With Molina moving up in the order, Jhonny Peralta has mostly taken over the sixth position in the order. He has started there 26 times since the break, with the Cards winning 14 of them (.538) scoring 4.23 runs per game. Grichuk has hit sixth 11 times in the second half, and the Cards have averaged 5.09 runs per game in those games. But the team record in those games is just 5-6 (.455).
With 45 starts for the season, Molina also leads the team in hitting sixth. And the Cards are still searching to replace his production in the six hole. The team is 27-18 (.600) when Yadi hits sixth, scoring 5.29 runs per game. Among the other prominent players who have found themselves batting sixth, Peralta has led the team to a 16-17 record and 4.21 runs per game; Grichuk’s numbers are 8-13 and 4.43; with Moss 7-8, 4.93; and Jeremy Hazelbaker, batting there 12 times, has seen the team score 4.75 runs per game while splitting the 12 games.
Jedd Gyorko has hit sixth 15 times this season. St Louis has won 10 of those games (.667) averaging 5.00 runs per game.
Gyorko has hit seventh in the lineup more than anyone else on the team both for the year (40 times) and since the All-Star Break (21 times). In neither case are the results awe-inspiring (19-21 [.475] overall, and 11-10 [.524] in the second half). Grichuk has hit there 27 times this season (15-12), including 16 times since the All-Star Break (8-8).
St Louis has also had Kolten Wong (12-11) and Yadier Molina (11-9) bat there more than ten times. There are also ten others who have hit there. The team record in those games is 23-19.
Nine different players have batted eighth just since the All-Star Break. The most frequent of these is Kolten Wong – who has hit there 20 times, leading the team to a 12-8 record and 4.45 runs per game. Grichuk has hit there a lot recently (11 times since the break) with the team going 8-3 (.727) and scoring 5.55 runs per game with him there. Greg Garcia also has 10 second half starts there. The team has split those, scoring 47 runs in those games.
Kolten has batted eighth 42 times this season. The team has won 27 of those games (.643) and scored 4.95 runs per. Diaz hit second a lot early in the season. His 24 starts there are the second most on the team. St Louis scored a lot of runs in those games (5.58), but only won 11 of them (.458).
Of the three other players that have made at least 10 starts batting eighth, the team has done the best with Grichuk (12-5, .706, 5.65 rpg). They are 7-5, 5.08 with Pham and 8-11, 4.42 with Garcia.
With the allowing of another first-inning run yesterday, the Cards have now trailed at some point in 15 of their last 16 games.
With the Cubs coming off a sweep of the Reds, Chicago will be the fourth of the last five opponents the Cardinals will play that has won its previous series.