(BaseballStL) -- To the surprise of no one, Pete Kozma hasn’t been much of an offensive weapon for the Cardinals this year. He’s hitting just .232. That ranks 22nd among all National League shortstops. The rookie has only one home run and 33 RBIs.
On a Cardinals team that leads the N.L. in batting average, rbi’s and runs scored, Kozma earns his keep with his glove, not his bat, so his game winning base hit against the Cubs on Sunday was a nice bonus.
Kozma’s offensive numbers have been trending downward. He was just two for his last 25 before the line drive to center that scored the go-ahead run in the game the Cardinals needed to avoid being swept by Chicago. “I was just looking for a pitch to hit, a pitch to put in play” said Kozma. “The first one I fouled off, I thought that was my pitch. But he gave me another one.”
Kozma has been losing playing time recently to Daniel Descalso, so the hit came at a good time for him, and for the Cardinals as they snapped an ugly four game losing streak. “It could lead to good things. One thing leads to another. Things go bad, but maybe this is a turn around.”
Kozma is generally a man of few words. He’s also a man of few errors. He currently ranks second in the National League in fielding percentage among shortstops at .987. Only Troy Tulowitski can beat that at .990, and Tulowitzki has handled 86 fewer chances.
As long as Kozma continues to play a steady shortstop the Cardinals can live with his limited offense, and hope he continues to deliver the occasional key hit.