Some random and very deep numbers to contemplate prior to tonight’s contest against Kansas City.
Last Monday (August 5), the Cards began their series in Los Angeles getting pushed around to the tune of 8-0. It was the first time they had lost on a Monday since a 10-7 loss in Milwaukee on April 15. It was also the only other Monday loss this season. St Louis is 9-2 this year on Monday.
St Louis began the second half 13-4 (.765) against the first 17 right-handers to start against them. They are only 2-4 this month when they face a right-handed starter (as they will tonight).
On the Saturday before the All-Star break, the Cards lost their game in San Francisco by an 8-4 score. That was the last time this season they’ve lost a game in which they’ve scored at least 4 runs.
The trouble, of course, is that they still cannot score that fourth run consistently enough. This month, they have been held to less than four runs in 6 of their 9 games. They have scored 3 or less in 14 of the 28 since the break.
In the season’s first half, the pitching staff served up five or more runs 37 times (42% of their games). It was almost always too much for the offense to keep up with. St Louis was 6-31 (.162) in those games.
While there hasn’t really been any more offensive consistency since the break, the hitters have had their moments. In the season’s second half the Cards have already won a game where they have allowed 8 runs, another in which they have given up 9 and a memorable game against Cincinnati when they gave 11 runs and won. That one featured a seven-run comeback. It was only the third time this century that St Louis has come back from that steep a deficit, and the first time in 17 years since this eight run comeback (also against Cincinnati).
St Louis is, in fact, 5-4 in the second half when they allow 5 or more runs.
And if offensive consistency still eludes them, in the last 28 games the consistency on the pitching side has increased noticeably. In the season’s first 88 games, Cardinal opponents were held below 4 runs only 38 times (43%). That has happened 16 times since the break (57%). The Cards, of course, have still managed to lose 5 of those games.
St Louis has won 18 consecutive games in which they have lead by at least two runs. The last time they lost a game in which they held more than a one-run lead was back on June 25 against Oakland.
The sight of Mr Danley behind the plate should always be taken as a good omen for the Cards. This century, St Louis is 21-13 (.618) with Kerwin calling balls and strikes. Curiously, that day in June was the third time already that Danley has called a Cardinal game. St Louis is 3-0 in those games.
There has been one other year this century where the Cards won 3 games with Danley behind the plate. They were 3-1 in his games in 2011 – with that last win coming on the season’s final day, September 28. That was the day that Chris Carpenter shutout Houston and the Cards squeaked into the playoffs beginning their date with destiny.
On the other end of the spectrum is Tim Timmons. For most of this century, Tim’s presence behind the plate was excellent news. St Louis won 29 of the first 39 games he called this century (.744). That was through 2016. Six times in those 17 seasons St Louis had won 3 times with Tim behind the plate.
For some reason, we never saw Mr. Timmons in 2017, and our relationship has soured since. After losing 3 of the 4 games he called last year, the Cards are 0-3 this year in Tim’s games.