Since dropping the first-two games of a four game set with the Chicago Cubs, the St. Louis Cardinals have won six out of their last seven games, including a five game consecutive winning streak against the Cubs, Houston Astros, and Philadelphia Phillies. Their lone loss during this streak came at the hands of the Phillies; in the second game of a three game series.
During the past seven games, the Redbirds have gone yard sixteen times. To evoke the memory of the late, great, legendary, HOF broadcaster, and St. Louis native, Harry Caray, “Holy Cow”!
Joining in the extended home run display were Brandon Moss and Jedd Gyorko who each hit four. Jeremy Hazelbaker planted three into the outfield seats. Stephen Piscotty launched two homers, and Tommy Pham sent a ball into the stands for a souvenir.
St. Louis is third in home runs in MLB, behind the Baltimore Orioles (210), and Toronto Blue Jays (179). The Cards lead the NL with one hundred seventy-three home runs this season. The Cardinals, suddenly, have become a team of power hitters. Moss leads the home run club with twenty-three. There are nine members of the Cardinals who are in double digits, when it comes to home runs.
The team batting average for St. Louis this season is .256; good for fifteenth best in MLB and good for seventh best in the NL. The Cardinals have secured a great deal of wins, including Sundays 9-0 victory over the Phillies, where they hit four homers. The Cardinals need to improve upon their station to station game. They need to improve in moving the runners on base into scoring position, and lessen the number of runners LOB. In the past seven games where the Birds on the Bat went 6-1, the team left ninety-five runners on base.
Home runs are nice; they tend to create excitement and interest in a game. Fundamentally sound baseball is also a necessary component to winning games.
The Cardinals lay claim to the best road record in the NL (38-24). The Birds have the second worst NL home record (28-33) just in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-40).
At the end of play on Sunday, the Cardinals (66-57) remained active in the Wild Card hunt holding onto the second WC spot, 1.5 games in front of the Miami Marlins and pulling 3 games in front of the Pirates in the Wild Card standings. Claiming the 1st WC spot is the San Francisco Giants who currently hold a +1.5 lead in the Wild Card race.
To remain competitive the Cardinals’ home record must improve. There is still a lot of season to unfold. I like the Cardinals’ chances of securing a Wild Card entry into the 2016 NL Playoffs.
I, for one, am looking forward to the remaining thirty-nine games of the 2016 Regular Season. It may not be time to pop those Wild Card Champaign Corks yet. It is probably okay to start freezing the ice.
Thanks for reading!
Jim Tsapelas is a featured author for Baseball Thirty.