Second half stats paint bleak picture so far for Cardinals -

Second half stats paint bleak picture so far for Cardinals

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By Dan Mueller By Dan Mueller

(BaseballStL) -- Sometimes stats can tell a story better than opinions, conjectures or even logic. After all, the facts are the facts.

So, here are the facts about the St. Louis Cardinals’ individual performances since the All-Star break, a period which has seen the club struggle to play .500 baseball.

Yadier Molina has only played 11 games and batted 38 times since the break, having spent the best part of two weeks on the DL with a bad wheel. He hit .341 before the break and just .236 after, evidence of just how bad his knee must have been hurting.  

Critics questioned why manager Mike Matheny didn’t rest him more but with Yadi having an MVP season, it may have been hard to do. Now, it is hard to watch.

Allen Craig hit .333 at the break, just .259 coming out of it. His strikeouts are on a pace to far exceed those in the first half. He had 74 RBIs in the first half and just 13 so far in 23 games, a pace that would generate little more than half of the RBIs he had been producing.

Matt Carpenter’s sudden loss of power is the most significant stat for him so far this half. Carpenter hit .321 on his way to being named an all-star but since then is hitting just .255. In the first 90 games he had four triples and nine home runs, but has goose eggs in both categories in the first 23 games this semester.

Matt Holliday has been tearing it up since returning from the DL, that forced rest with a tweaked hamstring apparently re-energizing him. He is batting .403 in 17 games and has an OPS of 1.219.

Carlos Beltran started very slowly after the break but has picked it up the past few games. In the 20 games in which he has appeared, he’s hitting .288 compared to .309 in the first half. What is noticeable, however, is that Beltran has just one dinger in those 20 second half games, compared to 19 in the first half.

John Jay may have found his stride. Jay is better in almost every category in the second half, hitting .325, fully 75 points over his first half performance. He is on a pace to have more singles and doubles and drive in more runs than he did the first 90 games. He also is on a pace to walk less and strike out more, but that may be a product of being more aggressive at the plate.

David Freese remains as streaky in the second part of the season as he was in the first. Freese’s average in 24 games since the ASB is nine points higher at .280 but his success has come in bunches with long stretches of underperformance.

Pete Kozma hasn’t shown the kind of improvement he and the Redbirds would like to have seen. In 23 games so far, he’s hitting .224, 9 points under his 90-game average. Worse, the strikeouts continue to put him on a pace to exceed 100 this year.

Matt Adams has played more to less effect. Adams saw a lot of time during Holliday’s absence but has cooled considerably, hitting just .192 in 18 games, compared to .316. Worse, he’s on pace to fan a lot more.

Daniel Descalso joins the fraternity of second half underachievers, hitting .216 this half, but .275 in the first 90 games. Worse, his RBIs and doubles are also way down,  leaving the Cards with an offensive hole at shortstop.

Adam Wainwright’s effectiveness has dropped off noticeably so far. He is just 1-2 with an ERA of 3.72, more than a run a game higher than the first 90 games. Teams are also hitting .280, 36 points higher as well.

Joe Kelly is the ace of the staff, at least in the second half. He’s 2-0 with an ERA of 1.57. Teams hit just .241 so far.

Jake Westbrook has been a train wreck this half. His ERA is 7.39 and teams are hitting .325 against him. He is putting nearly two men an inning on base and still managed to win two games.

Shelby Miller is humming right along with an ERA of  2.70, slightly better than the 2.92 of the first half.

Lance Lynn, despite some control issues, has actually been more effective so far this half, lowering his ERA nearly a full run to 3.03. His walks are up noticeably but teams are only hitting .191 this half, perhaps because they don’t want to stay in there when he’s all over the place. Regardless, if Lynn continues on this pace, he, Miller and Kelly may lead the Cards into the postseason.

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