Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Cardinals Post-Season Stats

With the day off, let's take a look at the Cardinal team to see who's getting it done and who isn't.

Offense

Unreal

Albert Pujols - .412/.500/.853, 1353 OPS, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 10 R
Larry Walker - .324/.425/.794, 1219 OPS, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 12 R

Having these two guys back to back in the lineup has carried this team a long way during the post-season. The thought of facing them both in the 1st inning can't give starting pitchers a great feeling, even if they are named Jose Lima or Bandon Backe.

Acceptable

Jim Edmonds - .267/.343/.533, 876 OPS, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Scott Rolen - .194/.359/.419, 778 OPS, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R

Edmonds isn't playing at the level we need him to be, but he's been doing ok. The most telling stat? He's only scored 2 runs in 9 games - and both times he drove himself in via the home run.

Rolen, the leading RBI guy on the team from the regular season, needs to improve his rate of 4 over 9 games for the Cardinals to keep things going. He is, of course, hitting much better in the NLCS (.316/.381/.684, 1065 OPS), which is why I list him as acceptable at this point despite a 778 playoff OPS.

Unacceptable

Edgar Renteria - .214/.353/.286, 639 OPS, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 5 R
Mike Matheny - .231/.231/.346, 577 OPS, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Reggie Sanders - .179/.233/.286, 519 OPS, 1 HR, 4 R

Edgar's OBP is respectable, but that likely has a lot to do with the performance of the other guys on this list hitting behind him in the lineup. Matheny and Sanders have combined for 1 walk in the playoffs. ONE! And Sanders has only driven in 1 run on a solo shot. We expect this kind of production out of Matheny, but Renteria and Sanders need to provide some offense lower in the lineup, much like they did in the NLDS.

Miserable

Tony Womack - .150/.171/.200, 371 OPS, 1 3B, 3 SB, 5 R

The leadoff hitter has been on base 7 times in 9 games, only once by a walk. He does continue to make the pitchers work, but not as much as he could if he were making them nervous by standing on first, threatening to steal. La Russa keeps playing him for his playoff experience. But is it hard to imagine Hector Luna doing any worse at this point? If nothing else - for the love of Pete, please attempt to bunt for a hit at least once this series.

The bench could also be placed on the miserable list. Mabry, Cedeno, and Molina all have 1 hit each, while Marlon Anderson has 1 walk and 1 HBP. Mabry and Cedeno have each driven in a run. And that's all of the offense provided from the non-regulars. Overall line? .143/.217/.143, 360 OPS over 21 at-bats from the bench. Yuck.

Starting Pitching

Getting it Done

Woody Williams - 2-0, 2.84 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 19 innings, 11 K's, 4 BB's
Jeff Suppan - 1-1, 3.46 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 13 innings, 5 BB's

You can't say enough about these two - especially Woody after last night's start. Jeff Suppan hasn't been as dominant, but he has still been by far the 2nd best pitcher for the Cards this post-season. Not bad for a guy who might not have made the NLDS rotation with a healthy Carpenter available.

Not So Much

Matt Morris - 0-1, 5.35 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 12 innings, 10 K's, 7 BB's
Jason Marquis - 0-0, 7.36 ERA, 2.05 WHIP, 7.1 innings, 2 K's, 6 BB's

Morris turned down a 3 year deal prior to this season. Walt offered him $8 million a year, and Morris felt like it was lower than he could get on the market. Talk about a bad decision. Of course, one good start in Game 6 of the NLCS could change a lot of perceptions about Mr. Morris.

Marquis was good this year. Personally, I think he's just worn out. If the Cards find a way to advance to the World Series, you have to wonder if he'll be on the roster or not at this point.

Bullpen

Dodging Bullets

Cal Eldred - 0.00 ERA, 4.00 WHIP, 3 games, 1 inning, 0 K's, 3 BB's
Steve Kline - 0.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 3 games, 1.1 innings, 0 K's, 0 BB's
Julian Tavarez - 1-1, 3.38 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 5 games, 5.1 innings, 4 K's, 2 BB's

Kline hasn't pitched since Game 2 of the NLCS due to a torn tendon in his left index finger. Tony has avoided Cal Eldred like the plague in both series', having not pitched since Game 3 of the NLCS. And Tavarez has actually been ok, other than his brilliant move to break his non-pitching hand. Would La Russa have pitched Izzy in the 8th last night with Tavarez available? Probably. But you have to wonder.

Dodging Line Drives

Kiko Calero - 4.76 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 4 games, 5.2 innings, 8 K's, 1 BB
Danny Haren - 1-0, 4.91 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3 games, 3.2 innings, 5 K's, 1 BB
Ray King - 1 Hold, 5.40 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 6 games, 3.1 innings, 2 K's, 0 BB

These guys haven't been as solid as the Cards needed, but they haven't been horrible. Calero has actually been pretty tough, but has had trouble in his 2nd inning of work. King has only given up 2 hits in the playoffs. Unfortunately, both were home runs to Lance Berkman.

Not Dodging Enough

Jason Isringhausen - 0-1, 2 Saves, 6.35 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 6 games, 5.2 innings, 3 K's, 5 BB's

Izzy being at the bottom of this list is slightly misleading. After all, he had a 1.70 ERA when the 9th inning started last night. A 3 run home run over a span of less than 6 innings will inflate an ERA greatly. But nonetheless, you can't have your closer walking almost a batter an inning.

OPS Allowed

Since ERA is in fact misleading over small numbers of innings, here are the Card's pitchers ranked by OPS allowed in the playoffs.

Suppan - 558
Williams - 577
Kline - 667
Isringhausen - 770
Eldred - 821
King - 833
Haren - 846
Calero - 939
Tavarez - 948
Morris - 948
Marquis - 1083

That says a lot, doesn't it? Just 4 guys holding hitters to an OPS under 800, with 4 other guys being hit to the tune of 939 and higher - including our Game 6 starter at 948. The starters aren't much of a surprise, but the Cardinals should have been receiving better relief than this. What should have given the Cardinals an edge has cost the Cardinals at least 1 game in this series.

Conclusion

All things told, the Cardinals need a few things to happen in the next two games if they're going to advance.

  1. Womack needs to make things happen at the top of the lineup
  2. Renteria, Sanders, and Matheny need to stop being automatic outs
  3. We need a "Good Matt" start rather than a "Bad Matt"
  4. Suppan needs to keep it up
  5. The bullpen needs to revert to pre-NLCS form
All of those things don't have to happen - asking for that would be greedy. But if the Cards can get 3 out of 5 of them, I'll take their chances of playing on Saturday.










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