St. Louis Cardinals starters have gone five innings or less in four consecutive games.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ last two series-ending games have been major disappointments. Co-ace Adam Wainwright’s uncharacteristically poor and brief four-inning start on Thursday to close the Toronto set began an unenviable streak of short starts. It is one that Chris Carpenter will be trying to end when he faces Arizona at Busch Stadium on Monday night.
Jaime Garcia also had his worst outing of the season on Sunday, going just two innings in Kansas City while yielding five earned runs.
In between the two unexpected bookends, Jeff Suppan and Blake Hawksworth went just five innings each on Friday and Saturday, respectively. That was more expected.
As such, the starting staff returns home hoping to end their unenviable run of going five innings or less in four consecutive games.
It is a stretch of rough pitching the likes of which has been seen by Cardinals fans just three times in the last three seasons – none last season, once in 2008 and twice in 2007. The worst streak was six such games, accrued in September 2007.
St. Louis Cardinals, consecutive starts of five or fewer innings, summary, 2007-current
|5 IP or less||# 6 starts||# 5 starts||# 4 starts|
Braden Looper was the constant in all three prior stretches.
St. Louis Cardinals, consecutive starts of five or fewer innings, detail, 2007-current
|Jaime Garcia||6/27/2010||KCR||L 3-10||GS-2 ,L||2.0||4||5||5||2||0||1|
|Blake Hawksworth||6/26/2010||KCR||W 5-3||GS-6 ,W||5.0||2||2||1||1||1||0|
|Jeff Suppan||6/25/2010||KCR||L 2-4||GS-5 ,L||5.0||7||3||3||2||3||0|
|Adam Wainwright||6/24/2010||TOR||L 0-5||GS-4 ,L||4.0||6||5||4||0||6||3|
|Kyle Lohse||7/27/2008||NYM||L 1-9||GS-6 ,L||5.0||11||7||7||1||2||3|
|Joel Pineiro||7/26/2008||NYM||W 10-8||GS-4||4.0||10||5||5||1||2||2|
|Mitchell Boggs||7/25/2008||NYM||L 2-7||GS-5 ,L||4.1||8||6||6||4||1||1|
|Todd Wellemeyer||7/24/2008||MIL||L 3-4||GS-5||5.0||5||2||2||5||2||0|
|Braden Looper||7/23/2008||MIL||L 0-3||GS-5 ,L||5.0||7||1||1||2||4||1|
|Kip Wells||9/13/2007||CIN||L 4-5||GS-5 ,L||4.2||10||5||5||6||2||1|
|Anthony Reyes||9/12/2007||CIN||L 1-5||GS-4 ,L||3.1||4||3||3||2||1||2|
|Mark Mulder||9/11/2007||CIN||L 2-7||GS-4 ,L||4.0||7||7||5||3||2||2|
|Joel Pineiro||9/10/2007||CHC||L 3-12||GS-4 ,L||3.1||8||6||6||0||3||2|
|Brad Thompson||9/9/2007||ARI||L 5-6||GS-2||2.0||4||2||2||0||1||1|
|Braden Looper||9/8/2007||ARI||L 8-9||GS-4||3.1||8||7||6||1||2||2|
|Anthony Reyes||6/17/2007||OAK||W 10-6||GS-5||5.0||7||5||5||3||3||1|
|Todd Wellemeyer||6/16/2007||OAK||W 15-6||GS-4||3.1||6||3||2||2||2||1|
|Braden Looper||6/15/2007||OAK||L 3-14||GS-5 ,L||4.1||8||8||7||2||1||1|
|Kip Wells||6/14/2007||KCR||L 8-17||GS-2 ,L||1.1||3||6||6||4||1||0|
If one expands the aperture to streaks of six innings or less, one more bad run in 2008 is added and two more in 2007, a very rough season for the defending World Champions.
St. Louis Cardinals, consecutive starts of six or fewer innings, summary, 2007-current
|6 IP or less||# 6 starts||# 5 starts||# 4 starts|
Likely one of the reasons that the youthful Cardinals relief corps came into Sunday with the second lowest ERA in the National League at 3.09 was that they haven’t been overused. In fact, almost ¾ of NL bullpens, 11 of 16, have pitched more innings than St. Louis’ 210 this season.
Obviously, if the starters will continue to exit as early as they have over the most recent four games, the bullpen will surely suffer as well.
Then, there is the Cardnials’ inconsistent offense…
(Thanks to Tom Orf for providing the game detail.)