Tuesday has been the Cardinals’ best day of the week so far this season. They are 9-4 (.692) on Tuesday’s. Conversely, they are only 4-11 (.267) on Sunday.
The Cards have already played 7 four-game series this year. They have lost the fourth game in 6 of the 7.
Four times in their 9 July games, St Louis has scored exactly 2 runs. They have lost all four. For the season, they have ended the day with exactly 2 runs 21 times – more times than all of their four- and five-run games added together (20). They are 5-16 when they score 2 runs.
Through their first 90 games, St Louis has been held under 4 runs 48 times (53.3%). They have lost 37 of those games. Once they manage that fourth run, their fortunes improve notably. They are 33-9 if they can make it to four runs.
St Louis held a lead at some point in 19 games that they ended up losing. There were 27 other losses in which they never had a lead.
Eighteen times this season, St Louis has taken a one-run lead in a game, but have been unable to add on to that lead. They have ended up losing 14 of those games. They are 40-5 when they manage to push their lead to two runs or more.
The Cards have never trailed in 31 of their victories – meaning they have only come from behind to win 13 times. When they have fallen behind by two runs or more, they are 3-42. If they can hold their deficit to just one run, though, they are 10-4.
In the top of the third inning on May 3, the Mets scored three runs, putting them in front 5-2. St Louis answered with 4 in the bottom of that inning (3 on a home run from Nolan Arenado and the other on a double off the bat of Tyler O’Neill). The 6-5 lead stood as the final score (box score). It’s the only time all season that St Louis has won a game after falling behind by more than two runs.
Umpire Mark Carlson had home plate for that game. He was also behind the plate on June 9 for the Cards’ 8-2 win over Cleveland. (Both of those games, by the way, were Adam Wainwright starts). St Louis is now 32-21 (.604) all time when Carlson has the plate. That is the second best record this century for any umpire who has called at least 50 Cardinal games. The best record this century for an umpire we have seen with that much frequency is Tim Timmons’ 33-18 mark (.647). We are only 1-1 with Timmons calling games so far this year.
Who, by the way, is the umpire we’ve seen the most this century? Of course, it would be Angel Hernandez, who – counting the Cardinal’s 3-2 loss in Colorado on July 3 – has called 58 St Louis games this century. The Birds are 31-27 (.534) with Hernandez calling balls and strikes. St Louis is 1924-1542 (.555) with everyone else behind home plate.
Just to round out this topic, the Cardinals’ worst record with an umpire in the over-50 category belongs, of course, to Cowboy Joe West. We are 1-2 this year when West has the plate, and 21-29 (.420) this century.
My Designated Hitter Rant
Every year now, baseball purists in the National League are continuously threatened with the permanent infliction of the designated hitter. Last year, I responded with an extensive rant against the DH. While trying to update that document, I managed to delete it. So, I have re-written it here. The hope is to set forth a reasonable argument for keeping the DH far, far away from National League parks. I encourage you to read it and pass it along to other like-minded fans of this great old game.