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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Reheating Cardinals NLDS game one leftovers

DeRosa shows he belongs

Despite some Cardinals fans pining for a benching or even leaving him off the playoff roster entirely, third baseman Mark DeRosa was one of the few bright spots for the club in their 5-3 NLDS game one loss Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

With three hits, DeRosa became the 16th Cardinals player to do so in an Division Series game. Fernando Vina is the only one with four hits, accomplished in game two of the 2002 NLDS. Jim Edmonds’ four three-hit NLDS games is tops on the Cardinals and second to Andruw Jones’ five such games in MLB history.

DeRosa has been consistently great in the first round. His all-time LDS average of .415 is second-best all-time, with only Hall of Famer Cal Ripken’s .441 better.

Stand by me

Posters here already know my opinion that leaving the 14 Cardinals runners on base was the single biggest factor in Wednesday night’s loss.

Not once in their long post-season history had the Cardinals left 14 runners on base in one game. Their previous playoff record was 13 stranded in game seven of the 1982 World Series, a game which they still won by a 6-3 score.

Other post-season games with high runners stranded counts include 12 in game five of the same 1982 World Series (a 6-4 loss), while they left 11 on base ten different times. The most recent was in game three of the 2006 World Series (a 5-0 win over Detroit).

Walk on by

Albert Pujols
tied Barry Bonds for the MLB record of three post-season games with two intentional walks. Albert still has something to strive for as Bonds had three intentional free passes in one of those games.

It was the sixth time a Cardinals player has been intentionally walked twice in a post-season game. Along with Albert’s three, Jack Clark in 1985, Harry Walker in 1946 and Marty Marion in 1944 are the others.

Double down again

As if Cardinals fans didn’t suspect it already, catcher Yadier Molina officially owns MLB’s highest rate of grounding into double plays this season. He added another to finish off the first inning threat on Wednesday night, not included here, when he was inexplicably batting sixth in the order.

Listed below are all MLB players with at least 20 GIDP during the 2009 regular season, ranked by highest rate of GIDP. Pujols finished tenth.

Yadier Molina 27 481 STL 17.81
Mike Lowell 24 445 BOS 18.54
Kevin Kouzmanoff 25 529 SDP 21.16
Ivan Rodriguez 20 425 TOT 21.25
Evan Longoria 27 584 TBR 21.63
Miguel Tejada 29 635 HOU 21.90
Hunter Pence 25 585 HOU 23.40
Adrian Gonzalez 23 552 SDP 24.00
Jose Lopez 25 613 SEA 24.52
Albert Pujols 23 568 STL 24.70
Yunel Escobar 21 528 ATL 25.14
Michael Cuddyer 22 588 MIN 26.73
Troy Tulowitzki 20 543 COL 27.15
Alexis Rios 21 582 TOT 27.71
Ryan Zimmerman 22 610 WSN 27.73
Miguel Cabrera 22 611 DET 27.77
Brandon Phillips 21 584 CIN 27.81
Robinson Cano 22 637 NYY 28.95
Carlos Lee 21 610 HOU 29.05
Jhonny Peralta 20 582 CLE 29.10
Orlando Cabrera 22 656 TOT 29.82
Billy Butler 20 608 KCR 30.40

As always, thanks to Tom Orf for sending along these factoids.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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