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

Cardinals last at-bat road comeback wins

On one hand, the game of baseball is very simple – throw, hit and run. Yet the statistics behind the game – what help make it so compelling for some – can become complex very quickly.

I was reminded of this after Monday night’s comeback win by the St. Louis Cardinals. The road club scored three in the top of the ninth to defeat Milwaukee, 3-2.

I was simply curious as to how often over time the Cardinals have come from behind to win games late. In asking researcher Tom Orf the question, it generated many more.

Did I want home and road wins, or just road? Did I want games when the Cards were down by two or more? Did I want last at-bat wins, whether eighth or ninth inning, or walkoffs only, etc?

I decided to stick with the Monday situation and sort Tom’s database by last at-bat comeback wins on the road.

Allen Craig’s RBI single capped off the first road win in 2012 when the Cardinals were trailing in the final inning. In fact, it was only the third by the club in the last 6 ½ years.

Interestingly, all three since 2005 came at the same place, Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Nick Stavinoha’s two-run home run brought the Cards back on April 9, 2010 and Matt Holliday did the exact same in the same manner to the Brew Crew on September 8, 2009.

Summarizing Tom’s data base – which goes back to 1933 – following are the totals of last at-bat comeback wins on the road by the Cardinals by year since 1960. (When years are not listed, there were none.)

On the right, I included decade totals. I wondered if greater relief specialization was behind fewer late road comebacks in recent years, but maybe not. Maybe it is better Cardinals teams getting larger leads and not needing to come back from deficits. Or maybe, there is no connection at all. What do you think?

1960 3 1960s 15
1961 2 1970s 6
1962 1 1980s 14
1963 1 1990s 11
1964 2 2000s 4
1965 1 2010s 2
1966 3
1969 2
1970 3
1974 1
1976 1
1977 1
1980 2
1981 2
1983 2
1985 4
1986 1
1987 1
1988 1
1989 1
1991 2
1992 2
1993 1
1994 3
1995 1
1997 1
1999 1
2001 1
2005 2
2009 1
2010 1
2012 1

As always, thanks to Tom Orf for sharing his raw data.

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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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8 Responses to “Cardinals last at-bat road comeback wins”

  1. blingboy says:

    I’m not surprised Whitey’s teams excelled at it. They were built for it. To somehow generate a run or two when they had to. It is quite different from having as many boppers in the lineup as you can and hoping the odds are in your favor.

  2. blingboy says:

    An interesting lineup
    SS Furcal

    1B Craig

    LF Holliday

    CF Beltran

    3B Freese

    C Molina

    RF Carpenter

    2B Greene

    P Kelly

    • Nutlaw says:

      I’m a little surprised that Berkman was activated to ride the pine for the most part, but I’m not complaining. Craig has the highest OPS on the team by a solid margin. Finding ways to get Carpenter in there is also appreciated. Greene over Skip against a lefty is fine.

  3. WesPowell says:

    I’d say with a lot of the late rally stuff it’s a combination of guts and luck. It may come down to runners on and two out, and then it’s just a matter of the result of one at bat. The batter may sting it right at someone or sting it into the gap. May pop it up, or hit a weak flare into an opening. And to get the runners on and keep the rally going, it may have been one of those pitches around the corner that they sometimes call strikes and sometimes balls and this time they called it ball four.

  4. blingboy says:

    It’s nice having Fit Elvis back and no where to put him. Switch hitting bop off the bench. Pinch me someone. And Jay too, in case we get in a nerf noodle war.

    Matheny is trying some craziness tonight to try and generate some O. He is probably begging Mo to sign a pitcher with stick.

    This could be Mighty Joe’s last start if Mo has a lead on a guy who can give us quality starts every five days. So I hope he makes it a good one. Imagine how much of an improvement Vargas would be. C’mon, imagine.

    • blingboy says:

      Now, if its a package deal for him and the boog . . . .

    • crdswmn says:

      Let’s see, a young cost controlled pitcher with a mid 90s fastball and a 2.70 ERA versus an almost 30 year old making 5 million a year who has given up the most home runs in all of baseball and has a 4.09 ERA………..Yep, that’s an improvement that I can definitely imagine……..if I were on heavy drugs.

  5. blingboy says:

    We may yet win tonight but its another horid display of inefficiency by the offense. Pitiful.

    Another quality start by Joe.

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