(BaseballStL) -- The second half began not with a bang, but with a whimper from the St. Louis Cardinals offense.
Down across the board in nearly every category, the offensive stats were causing trouble for nearly every spot in the lineup.
Leading off, Matt Carpenter was following his All-Star-caliber first half with a much quieter second.
From July 20 to August 9, Carpenter had just six games with more than one hit. He had eight games with no hits.
Comparitively, he had 18 no-hit games in the entire first half.
But as days in August entered double digits, Carpenter’s bat thawed out again.
“Every year I’ve ever played baseball, you go through some kind of a funk where for six or seven days you don’t know what you’re doing at the plate,” he said in the clubhouse Wednesday. “It’s just the way the game goes. It is kind of an inevitable thing that goes on in baseball.”
What goes up must come down, and in Carpenter’s case, must come back up again. Carpenter is 13 for his last 24, including a 3-for-6 performance in the first extra innings marathon against the Pirates and a 4-for-5 day in the series finale that went 12 innings.
“I dictate the way I feel with my at-bats and how I’m seeing the ball and my approach at the plate,” he said. “Going deep in the counts, fouling off pitches, tough to strike out- those sorts of things.”
Speaking to reporters he said he felt like he was back in the groove, saying his at bats are back to what they usually are.
“When I don’t feel good I feel like my at bats are quicker,” he said. “Putting balls into play on 0-1, 1-0 counts.”
Since August 10, Carpenter has seen 110 pitches in 24 at bats, for an average of 4.58 per at bat. He’s only seen two or less pitches three times in that stretch, and he saw 32 and 31 pitches in the two extra inning games against the Pirates.
In Thursday’s win he had at bats of seven and eight pitches; the latter leading to an RBI trible and the former leading to a single and ultimately the game-winning run.
His hot bat will now head to Chicago for a three game set. Carpenter is 15-for-56 against Cubs, hitting .304 when facing them this season.