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

Cardinals fail to register long winning streak

If you perceive the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals haven’t broken off a long winning streak, you are absolutely correct. The club has won four straight on six prior occasions this season, but they lost game number five every single time.

The seventh four-game winning streak of the 2011 season was assembled by St. Louis in Florida over the weekend and is the team’s first in over a month. Game one of the Milwaukee series on Tuesday will present the Cardinals with another chance to finally log that elusive fifth consecutive victory.

To help put that into current perspective, the Philadelphia Phillies just concluded a nine-game streak and even the lowly Chicago Cubs are just coming off a seven-game winning run. Like St. Louis, the Brewers are working on extending four in a row. One of the two will be disappointed on Tuesday.

In terms of losing streaks, the Cardinals had one ugly stretch of seven consecutive losses which occurred back in early June. Other than that, 2011 has seen just five three-game skids and nothing worse.

I had previously looked at the correlation between St. Louis Cardinals winning and losing streaks and making the playoffs, with a streak defined as three games or more. Forget about series – this is simply about stringing some “W’s” together.

With nine winning streaks and six losing skids this season, the 2011 Cardinals are on pace to most closely approximate the 2006 club at 13 and eight, respectively.

St. Louis Cardinals, number of winning and losing streaks, 1996-2011

# Winning streaks # Losing streaks Playoffs
2011 projected 13 8 TBD
2011 YTD 8/8 9 6
2010 8 10
2009 12 9 Yes
2008 10 8
2007 10 9
2006 13 9 Yes
2005 12 3 Yes
2004 16 5 Yes
2003 8 12
2002 14 6 Yes
2001 10 8 Yes
2000 15 7 Yes
1999 8 12
1998 10 13
1997 7 11
1996 11 10 Yes

The above is just a total count, so let’s look at the streak durations. Only once in manager Tony La Russa’s 16 years with St. Louis has his team not had at least a five-game winning streak. That was back in 1999, another non-playoff season. So far, 2011 would be the second.

In another very interesting factoid, the Cardinals have had just two winning streaks longer than five games over the last five-plus years – a six-gamer in 2008 and an eight-gamer last season. That is it since prior to the winning of the 2006 World Championship.

St. Louis Cardinals, winning streaks by number of games, 1996-2011

Winning streaks 11 games 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 Total
2011 YTD 8/8 7 2 9
2010 1 2 1 4 8
2009 5 2 5 12
2008 1 2 2 5 10
2007 2 2 6 10
2006 1 1 4 7 13
2005 1 3 3 5 12
2004 1 1 1 2 4 1 6 16
2003 1 1 2 4 8
2002 1 1 5 4 3 14
2001 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 10
2000 1 2 1 3 8 15
1999 2 6 8
1998 1 2 3 4 10
1997 2 1 4 7
1996 1 2 4 4 11

St. Louis Cardinals, losing streaks by number of games, 1996-2011

Losing streaks 11 games 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 Total
2011 YTD 8/8 1 5 6
2010 2 1 7 10
2009 1 8 9
2008 1 1 1 5 8
2007 1 3 1 4 9
2006 2 1 1 5 9
2005 3 3
2004 1 4 5
2003 1 4 7 12
2002 1 1 2 2 6
2001 1 3 4 8
2000 1 6 7
1999 1 1 1 9 12
1998 1 4 8 13
1997 1 1 2 5 2 11
1996 1 1 8 10

La Russa is known for not letting his teams get too high or too low. That may need to change – in a big hurry.

With his club at risk of falling further behind Milwaukee in the National League Central Division, now seems the time to seek out a high – in terms of breaking off a long run of victories – before the 2011 season is lost as was the case in three of the last four years.

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40 Responses to “Cardinals fail to register long winning streak”

  1. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/08/colby-rasmus-hires-beverly-hills-sports-council-.html

    ………………………………………………………………………………… … ……….. ………….. … ………

  2. blingboy says:

    Seems like the TLR to ChiSox rumor is heating up some. Not in StL of course.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Jeff Gordon of all people has connected synapses and done some good thinking:
    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/jeff-gordon/article_632f1d56-c1ce-11e0-8e04-0019bb30f31a.html

    • Brian Walton says:

      Rah, rah, rah. Go, underachieving team, go!

      • JumboShrimp says:

        You seem down, Brian. Cheer up. The Cards are turning the corner and should finish strong, barring new injuries.

        • Brian Walton says:

          The Cards have missed the playoffs in three of the last four years due to late season fades. As the first table in the main blog post above reminds us, this is the driest stretch in terms of post-season appearances since TLR became manager in 1996.

          One year ago today, St. Louis had finished a rain-shortened series in Florida with a 61-49 record and was two games out of first. Despite no serious injuries, they went 25-26 the rest of the way, finishing five games out.

          Currently, they have a poorer record, 62-53, and are three games back.

          Them’s the facts. We shall see if the Jackson, etc.-Rasmus trade turns out better than the Westbrook-Ludwick trade did last year.

  4. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Craig Counsel has become another “Ryan Franklin”………….a useless waste of bench space……..
    He owns Lohse…………….that why they aren’t going to use him………… Counsel might just spring back to life………….. did Lohse play in the golf tourney today? That’s a sign of ……..something…..if not……injury most likely……………

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I just previewed the Reds/Rockie’s game last night…………………….. Votto, sporting 3 days growth didn’t look tough……………… He looked like a drunk getting ready to do a chin up on the curb…………
    bleachers were empty. They’re finished……………………

    Brewers win some loose some……………..but they beat up on the chumps………….. winning a game might be nice for us………..but we really need to give them a good beating……….show them some of “the power and the glory”…………… play better than them, not just score a few more runs……….

    Here in lies the problem…………they are a team……. we are a disjoint bunch of self interested egotists…
    AP is doing his own thing at this point………….Berkman knows the value of beating him in the HR race………….., Holiday just punching in………… the hired guns looking at the horizon……….. Jackson has a chance for redemption………does he seem like a guy looking for pay back to you? I don’t thinks so…………………….. Marcum is a finesse pitcher………he is beaten with finesse hitting………he will take advantage of all the speculators………… Cardinals are -120……….that is solely based on our home reputation related to their road reputation……………. 8 run O/U

    I have no opinion here……….. Tony looks to be treating this like a playoff series……….. he is in full “mental” mode……….. our biggest weakness is Jackson’s light weight competitive nature…….and AP’s hr fetish………………… I make no predictions on this one………. Brewers might bring there own self doubt into this game………..I would rather they played well……..and we kick their asses………..

    • STLfan51 says:

      Agreed. For all the annoying shirt untucking and grenades at home plate the Brewers do, it bonds them as a team. Cards have none of that.

      I heard somewhere today that no MLB team has made the playoffs without at least one 5 game win streak. Not sure how hard that would be to verify, but found it interesting.

      • crdswmn says:

        I agree. The Cards do not show the same passion that the Brewers do. There was some of that earlier in the season, but it has died out for the most part.

  6. Brian Walton says:

    Westbrook and Carpenter to start Wed and Thurs, skipping Lohse for Milwaukee series.

  7. Brian Walton says:

    Tuesday lineup: Furcal, ss; Patterson, cf; Pujols, 1b; Holliday, lf; Berkman, rf; Freese, 3b; Schumaker, 2b; Laird, c; Jackson, rhp

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    thats a real statement on John Jay…………. and there is a lefty tomorrow that Patterson has 300 numbers against…………..

  9. blingboy says:

    Jackson is not good at hitting the glove.

  10. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Things are going Jackson’s way………. we need to back him……….my machine had 2 of Patterson’s pitches as strikes…….called balls????? Pujols is fired up……but his focus is on his own agenda……… its is the problem here………..

  11. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    First blood……………. if we don’t respond……….. Jackson will weaken fast ……….

  12. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Pujols poor AB’s fuel the fire………….. he won’t be pitched around with 2 outs………. what strike zone…………….

  13. crdswmn says:

    I don’t have much hope for this series. Brewers are playing better and have the momentum. Cardinals have a history of choking in these situations.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      skip looking at the stadium horizon …………… that look of the penitent in respectful battle with god’s challenges to his allegiance ………….. I just release the guy ………. that will clear his mind…..work at the root beer stand …………….. if this were a battlefield………..those praying are always the first to die….. pray……and then fight……fight and then pray…….. the bodies of the confused feed the buzzards…….

  14. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    That however………….was clearly the work of prayer………………………. what the hell did Pujols think he was going to do with that ball?????????

  15. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    AP….0/2……………takes a full hack…….runner at third………….

    Skip was out at the plate……………if he goes hard with the intension of sliding……he is easily safe…… he got surprised at the plate and drop kicked an ill time slide and just missed the plate on his bounce……………………that it for Marcum…….he’s finished……….. I hope they leave him in………third pitch to Pujols “may have touched the strike zone”…………

  16. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Incredible………………………. a fastball………………..

  17. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Nice save by Laird……………he looks dogged………….. seems like fielder and braun didn’t bring it.

  18. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Next mistake loses…………………. Descalso should be in defensively for the preacher……….. Pujols chokes this time…………….and he gets my vote…………

  19. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    AP will swing at anything…………..but a strike…………… he is lost in a maze of self insulating valuations………….. blinding all his natural/instinctive ability………..

  20. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    you still awake BB…………..

  21. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Lohse was throwing a pen………that puts him Friday………….

  22. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    AP………….. A full round house swing.game on the line………….. that is a joke………………. this guy is poison………………period………..

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      I’ve looked at his last AB is super slow-mo……….. he may have been looking away and then had to speed up his swing to try and catch up to the inside third dream pitch……….. unfortunate sequence of events. A stupid pitch is sometimes the hardest to handle…………..except when we throw it.

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