Despite coming off back to back losses to the Houston Astros, the Cardinals have started to receive much needed production out their starting pitching.
In years past, the Cardinals possessed some of the best starting pitching in the MLB. This year, however, the teams starting pitching has been nothing less than miserable. In March/April the starting pitching rotation held a 4.32 ERA, and in May held a 4.36 ERA.
Tyler Brandt, a fellow writer for the site, attributed some of this deviation from years past to unluckiness. If that’s the case, that means the starting pitching’s numbers would soon have to regress back to a mean. I’m inclined to agree that they had been in some part unlucky: plagued by the big innings along with the worst defense in the MLB. Whether or not it is simply a regression to a mean, actual improved quality in pitching and defense, or a combination of both, the Cardinals starting pitching has shown massive improvement in June.
In the current month, the starting pitching has posted an ERA of 3.81. Even though it’s still not fantastic, it does highlight some improvement. Most of this improvement in ERA can be attributed to the rotation’s last seven games. In these seven games, against good teams may I add, they have had a 2.16 ERA. Additionally they had a WHIP of 0.94 in the same time period. That is the lowest and second lowest in the MLB during that period; respectively.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 16, 2016
The reasoning for this is that the most recent start by every pitcher in the rotation has been very solid. Adam Wainwright is coming off of a 7.0 IP with 0 ER outing, Mike Leake a 2 ER in 7.0 IP outing, Carlos Martinez a 1 ER in 8.1 IP start, Jaime Garcia a 3 ER in 6.1 IP outing, and Michael Wacha a 2 ER in 7.0 IP start.
This isn’t to say that this rotation is suddenly on caliber of last year’s. The rotation still has a lot to prove before I’d be willing to say that they have finally caught their stride. However, I’m sure all of Cardinals Nation hopes that this trend will continue. A strong rotation, coupled with the best offense in the NL, would mean a chance of catching up to the Cubs. Unfortunately, the pitching staff still has to prove they possess consistency. One thing I know for sure is that this rotation has a ton of potential. It’ll be interesting to see how they progress throughout the rest of the season. Especially in their next series against the strong offensive Rangers team.
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