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Cardinals offense year-to-year: Part two

Comparing the year-to-year change in the St. Louis Cardinals offensive results from 2009 to 2010 to the National League as a whole.

Mark McGwire (Getty Images)In yesterday’s post, I compared the output of the 2009 and 2010 St. Louis Cardinals offense, noting that in terms of absolute numbers, four areas were up, four others were down and two others were flat year-to-year.

Several readers have suggested a view that contrasts the Cardinals with the league would offer a better comparison as it would take into account the shift across baseball to better pitching and poorer hitting in 2010.

That seemed a reasonable effort. What follows is a comparison of the percentage change in major offensive stats over the past two seasons between the Cardinals and the National League in its entirety. For consistency, I used the same ten statistical categories as in the initial article.

Cards AVG Chg SLG Chg OBP Chg
2010 0.263 0.0% 0.402 -3.1% 0.332 0.0%
2009 0.263 0.415 0.332
NL AVG Chg SLG Chg OBP Chg
2010 0.255 -1.5% 0.399 -2.4% 0.324 -2.1%
2009 0.259 0.409 0.331
Advantage Cards NL Cards

Starting with rate stats, the Cardinals flat batting average and on-base percentage is positive when considering the declines across the league. However, the Cardinals drop in slugging percentage was greater than experienced by the NL as a whole.

Cards TB Chg 2B Chg HR Chg
2010 2227 -1.8% 285 -3.1% 150 -6.3%
2009 2268 294 160
NL TB Chg 2B Chg HR Chg
2010 35101 -2.3% 4470 -3.0% 2404 -3.1%
2009 35915 4606 2482
Advantage Cards NL NL

While the Cardinals declined in all three categories in the above table, so did the NL. Only in total bases was St. Louis’ decline smaller than the league. The Cardinals doubles rate showed a slightly greater drop while their fall off in home runs was double the league’s rate of decline.

Cards R Chg BB-IBB Chg SO Chg GIDP Chg
2010 736 0.8% 463 1.8% 1027 -1.3% 124 -2.4%
2009 730 455 1041 127
NL R Chg BB-IBB Chg SO Chg GIDP Chg
2010 11211 -2.4% 7652 -6.2% 19092 4.4% 1917 -3.1%
2009 11481 8156 18282 1979
Advantage Cards Cards Cards NL

In the final group of stats, the Cards bucked the trend by scoring slightly more and taking more non-intentional walks while the league declined in each. St. Louis hitters struck out less while the NL whiffed more. Both groups cut their ground into double plays, but the league improved at a greater rate.

The bottom line tally is that the Cardinals performed better year-to-year than the National League in six of the ten selected offensive measurements and poorer than the NL as a whole in the other four.

Specifically, the Cardinals excelled in batting average, on-base percentage, runs, non-intentional walks, strikeouts and total bases.

The Cardinals lagged behind the league in slugging, ground into double plays, doubles and home runs.

This sample would seem to tip the scales toward overall improvement by the club as compared to the drop in offensive performance across the National League year to year.

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