Monday and Thursday have been the Cardinals’ days all season. In the month of September, they were 3-0 on those days, and they were 7-1 on each day in the second half. For the season, St Louis is 14-2 (.875) on Monday and 13-5 (.722) on Thursday.
Of course, those were the most frequent off days – including yesterday. St Louis played at least 23 games on all other days – with Friday through Saturday games scheduled against Chicago this weekend. They played only 16 times on Monday, and just 18 Thursday games.
Since the All-Star Break, St Louis has won the first game of 16 of their 22 series (.727). They have played 7 four-game series in the second half, winning game four six times.
In 25 September games, St Louis has scored 6 runs once, 7 runs once and 8 runs once. They have lost all of those games: 6-7 vs Milwaukee on September 15 (box score), 7-9 in Arizona on September 25 (box score) and 8-9 against San Francisco on September 4 (box score). Michael Wacha started all three games, leaving them all early, with the bullpen coughing up at least 7 runs in each of them.
The St Louis pitching staff has thrown 4 shutouts this month. They had 3 all of the first half. In 88 first half games, the Cards held their opponents to fewer than three runs just 13 times. They have done that 17 times in 71 second half games. They have done it 8 times in 25 September games.
Dakota Hudson gets the ball tonight. St Louis is 22-9 this year (.710), including 11-3 (.786) in the second half when Dak starts.
Right behind him, though, is Adam Wainwright. St Louis is 5-0 this month and 12-2 (.857) in the second half when Waino gets the ball.
The Cardinals have pushed across the first run of the game 18 times in the first 25 games of the month (72%). They are 13-5 when they score first (.722) and just 2-5 when they don’t. Since the break, they are 29-9 (.763) when they score first, and 17-16 (.515) when they don’t.
St Louis has never trailed in 11 of their 15 September wins. This month, they are only 4-10 (.286) in games where they have trailed at any point. The largest deficit they have overcome in September is 2 runs. Earlier in the second half, they had overcome a four-run deficit and a seven-run deficit. That magic has been largely absent, recently.
St Louis is 4-0 this year when umpire Ted Barrett has the plate, and 3-0 with Chris Conroy, Kerwin Danley and Laz Diaz. With Larry Vanover or Jim Wolf behind the plate, they are 0-3.
The Need to Sweep
With the Brewers just one game back as they play their last three in Colorado – and having won 18 of their last 20 – St Louis may very well have to sweep Chicago again to hold on to sole possession of first place. Since the Cubs come to town riding a surprising nine-game losing streak, a Cardinal sweep would require the Cubs to end this season on a 12-game losing streak – an unusual occurrence indeed.
Of course, Milwaukee’s sweep in Colorado would have them ending the season on a 21-2 streak – which also defies the normal numbers that govern baseball.
At any rate, the Cubs – whose season was compromised by the Cardinals last weekend in Chicago now have the opportunity for some payback. These games will be a significant test of the growth of this young team.