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Cardinals reach new level of scoring futility

Brendan Ryan (AP/David J. Phillip)At the worst possible time, the St. Louis Cardinals are in the midst of their lowest run-scoring ten-game stretch of the 2010 season.

As many fans know too well, the St. Louis Cardinals have been enduring a period of scoring futility that has put their playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.

Over their last ten games, the club has won just three, hardly the kind of push that would be expected to take them over the top. During that time, the Cardinals have been outscored 49-27. St. Louis plated 30 percent of the total, eight of the 27, in a single game, Monday’s series-opening win in Milwaukee.

The paltry sum of 27 runs represents the Cardinals’ lowest-scoring ten-game stretch during any point this season – at least to date.

With the assistance of researcher Tom Orf, we find that this is the 30th time in Tony La Russa’s 15 years as Cardinals manager that the team has scored 27 or fewer runs over a ten-game period. It is the first time this season after five different occurrences during 2009.

What is unique about 2010 is that this is the latest point in the season for such a low-scoring stretch during La Russa’s entire Cardinals tenure.

None of the 29 earlier offensive shortfalls occurred in any part during the month of September as does the current streak.

In the following table, a ten-game period that overlapped two months is accounted as a half in each.

Cardinals ten-game periods of 27 or fewer runs by month, 1996-current

Month #
September 0.5
August 8.5
July 6.5
June 3
May 7
April 4.5
Total 30

While this is the worst run-scoring period this season, it pales in comparison to the ten games from April 27 through May 8, 2007 during which the Cardinals plated just 19 runs. That is their worst showing under La Russa.

Cardinals ten-game periods of 27 or fewer runs by runs scored, 1996-current

Runs Times
19 1
20 0
21 1
22 4
23 1
24 3
25 6
26 4
27 10
Total 30

Looking at the yearly distribution, we see that the Cardinals only had one such streak during the four-year period of 2003-06 and just five over the nine years of 1998-2006.

Cardinals ten-game periods of 27 or fewer runs by year, 1996-current

Year #
2010 1
2009 5
2008 0
2007 7
2006 0
2005 0
2004 1
2003 0
2002 2
2001 0
2000 1
1999 0
1998 1
1997 11
1996 1
Total 30

Here are the details of all 30.

Cardinals ten-game periods of 27 or fewer runs, 1996-current

Start End Game 1 # Game 10 # W - L Runs scored Runs against
8/28/2010 9/7/2010 127 - 136 3 - 7 27 49
5/12/2009 5/22/2009 33 - 42 5 - 5 27 32
6/24/2009 7/3/2009 73 - 82 4 - 6 27 49
5/16/2009 5/25/2009 36 - 45 5 - 5 26 23
6/23/2009 7/2/2009 72 - 81 4 - 6 23 45
6/22/2009 7/1/2009 71 - 80 3 - 7 22 49
5/2/2007 5/13/2007 26 - 35 5 - 5 26 36
4/28/2007 5/9/2007 23 - 32 4 - 6 25 53
4/24/2007 5/5/2007 19 - 28 3 - 7 25 68
4/25/2007 5/6/2007 20 - 29 4 - 6 25 59
4/30/2007 5/11/2007 24 - 33 4 - 6 24 52
4/26/2007 5/7/2007 21 - 30 3 - 7 22 60
4/27/2007 5/8/2007 22 - 31 3 - 7 19 56
4/22/2004 5/2/2004 16 - 25 5 - 5 27 32
7/31/2002 8/10/2002 104 - 113 2 - 8 25 54
7/30/2002 8/9/2002 103 - 112 2 - 8 25 50
5/31/2000 6/10/2000 52 - 61 3 - 7 27 45
6/23/1998 7/3/1998 75 - 84 2 - 8 27 58
7/27/1997 8/5/1997 103 - 112 3 - 7 27 43
6/30/1997 7/12/1997 80 - 89 5 - 5 27 35
8/3/1997 8/13/1997 110 - 119 2 - 8 27 45
4/16/1997 4/27/1997 13 - 22 4 - 6 26 30
7/26/1997 8/4/1997 102 - 111 4 - 6 26 39
8/2/1997 8/12/1997 109 - 118 3 - 7 25 41
7/28/1997 8/6/1997 104 - 113 2 - 8 24 43
7/30/1997 8/8/1997 106 - 115 2 - 8 24 41
7/29/1997 8/7/1997 105 - 114 1 - 9 22 45
7/31/1997 8/9/1997 107 - 116 2 - 8 22 37
8/1/1997 8/10/1997 108 - 117 2 - 8 21 43
8/18/1996 8/28/1996 124 - 133 3 - 7 27 46

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