This week saw the Cardinals first wrap up a road trip with a 5-5 record by winning two of three in San Francisco. Then, the Cardinals returned home only to lose two of three to the Miami Marlins, which resulted in the Cards falling to third place in the NL Central behind the Pirates. Fortunately, the Cards regained second place with a dramatic series-opening victory last night over the Pirates. Currently, the team’s 48-42 record has them just four games behind the Brewers, but they are only a half-game ahead of the Pirates and a full game in front of the Reds. As we look at this past week in depth, I’ve listed some players whose stocks are rising or falling:
Adam Wainwright: Lowering his MLB-best ERA from 2.01 to 1.79, Adam Wainwright tossed 14.2 scoreless innings in two starts this past week. He did not have his best stuff on the mound, which is evident by his five walks and only six strikeouts, but he was able to work out of jams in both starts. Waino earned his eleventh win in his start against the Giants, but did not record a decision in last night’s game due to a lack of run support.
Matt Adams: With the first game-winning hit of his career, Matt Adams’ walk-off homer last night against the Pirates lifted the Cards to second place in the NL Central. It was the type of hit that could change the season for the Cards, not to mention that it certainly boosted the morale in the clubhouse. Not only did Matt Adams belt a walk-off homer, he also had a four-hit game on Sunday in a losing effort against the Marlins. Overall, Adams knocked in three runs and hit .385 this week to increase his team-leading batting average to .331.
Yadier Molina: By batting .400 this week (8 for 20), Yadier Molina raised his batting average to .289. Molina did most of his damage at the beginning of the week, when he drove in two runs, but he still belongs on this list nonetheless.
Matt Holliday: By recording just four hits in 20 at-bats, Matt Holliday lowered his batting average to a subpar .260 and continued his sluggish season. Although he drove in two runs, Holliday grounded into too many double plays and is still sitting on five home runs. He will need to perform much better if the Cards hope to catch the Brewers and win the division.
Allen Craig: Even with two days off, Allen Craig recorded just one hit in 15 at-bats. Granted, his one hit was a two-run homer, but he continues to struggle this year as he is batting just .246 with seven HR’s and 43 RBI’s. Don’t be surprised if he emerges as a possible trade piece for a Cards team that has an overcrowded outfield.
Trevor Rosenthal: Yes, Trevor Rosenthal notched two saves, but he blew a crucial save and took the loss against the Marlins on Saturday. In total, Rosenthal’s stats this week were anything but impressive. He pitched 2.1 innings and allowed four runs on six hits.