This year’s Cardinal team has struggled mightily putting the ball in play with runners in scoring position. I’ll allow the numbers to speak for themselves (and note that these numbers are PRE-Thursday’s game):
|on 1st, lt 2 out||28||184||159||50||8||47||14||24||.296||.360||.503||.863||.307|
|on 3rd, lt 2 out||23||50||37||33||4||28||8||9||.243||.367||.595||.962||.185|
|on 3rd, 2 out||25||69||53||23||0||21||16||17||.189||.377||.245||.622||.278|
Some specific observations about both the chart above and individual contributions:
- The Cardinals appear to be at least fairly adept at drawing walks with runners on base, but these can be easily skewed by the amount of intentional walks drawn by the Cardinals so far in 2010 (21 through Wednesday’s game).
- Albert Pujols, Ryan Ludwick, and David Freese have been the best hitters with RISP – Freese is hitting a ridiculous .435.
- Skip Schumaker and Matt Holliday are the major offenders. Holliday has only 5 hits in 39 plate appearances with RISP, only one of which – a double – went for extra bases.
- The Cards have done well with the bases loaded – Yadier Molina is 2 of 3, Freese is 3 for 4 with eight runs batted in.
- Cardinal bats go really quiet with runners on both second and third bases. Pujols has the team’s only hit in that situation, in only 28 total plate appearances for the team. They’ve only managed to create this situation in half their games. The team has 10 walks in this situation, but also 10 strikeouts.
- Things aren’t much better with a runner on third base only. The lineup has managed two hits in this situation, one by Kyle Lohse of all people. Molina has the other. Colby Rasmus is 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts.
- The only situations that the team carries a batting average higher than .250 is with runners on first and second, or with bases loaded. Freese, Rasmus, and Pujols have done most of the damage in this situation.
- Freese has been unconscious in almost all situations – but with a .433 BABIP, the team cannot continue to count on him to shoulder the load.
The Cards get worse with runners in scoring position and two outs – .216/.355/.384 – again with the on-base percentage being inflated by intentional walks.
I’m not telling most Cardinal fans anything new about the offense, particularly when it struggles, but obviously this must improve. Time for another shake-up in the batting order? Perhaps this time somewhere in the middle?