It’s the commercial midpoint in the season, so it seems like a good time to do a quick check in on how the Cardinals are doing statistically after the first “half” of the season.
It’s not secret; the Cardinals have not had the best half season going into the 2017 All-Star break. There have been disappointments, under performers, and even a couple demotions of expected every-day starters. To any die hard Cards fan used to a history of success, this has been an underwhelming season to say the least. And the stats, for the most part, back that up. However, some changes have been made over the last couple weeks, flashing some hopes of a second half turnaround.
At the break, the Cardinals rank 21st in the major league in team offense, having scored 396 runs in their 88 games played. In fact, shockingly, they are tied with the defending World Champions in this category. With a team average of .254, their offense stands in the middle of the pack.
The Red Birds have amassed 104 total home runs, good for 7th in the National League. With the support of these home runs, the Cardinals have driven in over 1240 runs, and slugged over .420. While these numbers aren’t bad by any measure, they are nothing to write home about. As well, they characteristic of a team that has hit some cold stretches thus far in the first half, and have appeared as a decidedly average team in the league to this point.
In recent years, the Cardinals have not necessarily proved themselves on explosive, “show me” type offenses, especially since the departure of Albert Pujols. However, through the first 88 games of 2017, they have been less than their normal, productive selves, ranking in the lower half in the Big Leagues in most major categories.
On the pitching side of the ball, the Cardinals have actually been one of the better teams, ranking 3rd in the NL with a 4.02 staff ERA. However, no one would call Cardinal pitching dominant. Besides Carlos Martinez, the Red Birds don’t have any shut down guys that abuse a line up top to bottom. As a team, they again appear near the middle of the pack with 743 team strikeouts. Likewise, the staff has achieved a decent, but nowhere near eye popping, .252 BAA.
However, defensively, the Cardinals have been in the bottom third of the league. Through 88 games, they have amassed 57 errors, 5th most in the National League. Their fielding percentage of .983 follows suit, tied for the 5th lowest in the NL. With a young team clearly experiencing growing pains in 2017, this is not necessarily a surprise. However, it is absolutely something that needs to be addressed going into the second half of the season.
Through the first “half” of the 2017 season, the Cardinals have had some mixed results. While they’re pitchers have shown some consistency, the Red Bird’s position players have not shown the development hoped for them. This has left the team in the lower half both offensively and fielding wise.
However, there is still hope. First of all, the Cardinals are in clearly the weakest division in baseball. Despite a non-characteristic 43-45 record at the break, the Cards still have a chance in an NL Central in which the Cubs are experiencing some pains of their own, and a young Milwaukee Brewers team holds the first place position.
And with some new call ups such as Paul DeJong and Luis Voit showing promise in their short times in the Majors thus far, there is a chance for a turn around. This is not a lost season for the Cards, despite their unimpressive mid-season numbers.
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