Tomorrow, the Cardinals look for their third sweep of the season behind the hot bats of the team’s three Matts.
Not so long ago a lot of Cardinal fans questioned Matt Holliday’s fit with the three-hole in the lineup. Not so long ago some Cardinal’s fans doubted whether Matt Carpenter should continue to bat leadoff. And not so long ago the Cardinals struggled to find their full-time starting first-baseman. Recently, however, these reservations have been put to rest. Put to rest by the power of the Matts.
Sure, sharing the name of Matt may make me biased, but it would be a shame not to recognize the recent tear the Matts have been on.
Lets go with batting lineup order, and start by highlighting leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter. Carpenter, also known as Marp, Carp-daddy, or Big-Carp Matt (the last two my own) had some of Cardinals Nation questioning if the leadoff role was still for him.
But please continue to tell me all the reasons why Matt Carpenter should be the leadoff hitter. pic.twitter.com/S93L1wMaRx
— Baseball is Coming (@CardinalTales) March 18, 2016
Much of this stems from the fact that Carpenter’s batting average of .257 was pretty low, but it is deceivingly low as he holds an on-base percentage of .375. But for all the Carp leadoff haters, his production after his break from paternity leave will hopefully put them to rest. This very recent surge is quantified by 9 hits in 20 plate appearances (.450 batting average), with six of them being for extra-bases, raising his season batting average to .274.
Now lets visit the recent successes of Matt Holliday, and this one is especially dear to me, as we don’t only share the same name, but also the same initials. One of my colleagues on the site just wrote an article about Holliday’s recent successes, so if you’re interested in a more in depth segment on him, click here.
But just as a quick overview/update Matt Holliday, in the past seven games Holliday has been hitting .478 with 3 home runs (.588 batting average in the last three games). With Holliday heating up, and because he sits in the three-spot, this offense could really start to be very dangerous–evidenced by the fact that the Cardinals have scored a total of 16 runs in the past two games.
Not the last Matt on the team, but the last Matt signed for his bat, Matt Adams has been on a roll recently as well. Coming into the season, the Cardinals weren’t quite sure who would reign as the starting first-baseman: Adams or Moss. They hoped Adams would recover from his torn quad and come back as a .250/.260 BA 20 HR player with consistent defensive ability. So far this season, Adams has offered more than that, batting .318 with 6 homers. This high average can be attributed to Adams’ amazing play in recent outings. In the past 11 games, not including his 1 for 4 performance last night, Adams is batting .467 in 34 plate appearances with 3 homers, 13 RBIs, and a OPS of 1.433.
With this recent offensive boom, Adams will no doubt continue to be the teams go to first-baseman moving forward.
If all the Matt’s (a third of the lineup) can continue to perform at a high-level, with the hot Piscotty, Diaz, and Yadi rounding out the 1-7, the Cardinal’s lineup will prove to be one of the most, if not the most dangerous lineup in baseball. Unfortunately it’s known in baseball that booms and busts occur in almost all players, but going into a tough series against the Giants, with better looking starting pitching than before, in addition to the hot Matts, the Cardinal’s are seemingly in a great place.
This could be the swing this team needs to make a push towards the Cubs’ impressive record.
But if the Cardinals really want to make a push, they should take a lesson from the Cubs and start participating in more bonding events as a team.
They can start by all visiting the local courthouse and all filing for name changes, because recently no one has been hotter than the Matts.
And hey I’m happy cause the Cards are playing well, and I guess I’m due for a little Matt magic too.
Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports