Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Cards and Dodgers, Round Two

Before I get into Jeff Weaver's splits - how about that game yesterday? It's amazing what one game can do for the attitude of a fan base, who was worried about the Cards coming out flat in Game 1 after going 8-7 down the stretch. Even though it was only one game, the Cardinals showed me yesterday that their offense really is ready to go, and reminded me of just how impressive this team was from late May to early September.

Jeff Weaver

Yesterday I posted split stats for Odalis Perez, which showed that lefties hit him harder than righties. While John Mabry didn't get the start, and Tony Womack didn't get a hit, we did in fact see both Walker and Edmonds go deep off of him. Of course, so did Pujols, and Renteria didn't seem to have much of a problem hitting him either. Good start.

In regard to Mr. Weaver:

vs. Left .291/.371/.472 - 843 OPS
vs. Right .231/.271/.332 - 603 OPS

He's been really tough on righties this year, but look at those numbers against lefties. A 371 OBP? Yikes. I really would like to see Mabry get the start in left tomorrow, based upon those numbers.

If we look at the breakdown by innings:

Inning 1 - .252/.331/.390, 721 OPS
Innings 1 to 3 - .251/.324/.404, 729 OPS
Innings 4 to 6 - .272/.317/.414, 732 OPS
Innings 7 to 9 - .222/.287/.284, 571 OPS

Here is a guy that is very consistent early in the game, and gets better the longer he goes. Of course, I should mention that he's only had 88 plate appearances against him in innings 7 through 9, so he doesn't go deep very often. If you take those 88 PA's over 34 starts, it looks like he usually only faces 2 to 3 batters in the 7th inning on average.

On a pitch by pitch basis:

Pitches 1 to 15 - .283/.349/.455, 803 OPS
Pitches 16 to 30 - .248/.301/.400, 701 OPS
Pitches 31 to 45 - .289/.358/.463, 821 OPS
Pitches 46 to 60 - .256/.318/.410, 728 OPS
Pitches 61 to 75 - .215/.248/.256, 504 OPS
Pitches 76 to 90 - .309/.353/.527, 880 OPS
Pitches 91 to 105 - .211/.300/.289, 589 OPS
Pitches 106 to 120 - .136/.192/.136, 329 OPS (22 at-bats)

To me, that is a strange pattern. The guy alternates between getting shelled and being solid every other group of 15 pitches? That is hard to explain, so I won't even try to come up with a theory. This would suggest, however, that Weaver is primed for a mini-meltdown at any time, regardless of how tough he has looked against the last 2 or 3 batters he's faced.

To wrap things up - as I recommended for Game 1, the Cards should start Mabry in Game 2 over Sanders. With 4 lefties in the lineup, along with 2 super-human righties in Pujols and Rolen, the Cards should make this another high scoring affair for the Cardinals.


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