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

Cardinals last four losses historically bad

When they most needed a push during a crucial 10-game road trip against playoff-caliber competition, the St. Louis Cardinals have stumbled badly. That has been especially evident over their most recent four-game nosedive, which began with the final two losses in Pittsburgh and continued in Washington on Thursday and Friday nights.

In all 36 innings of those four decisive defeats, the Cardinals trailed their opposition. In every game, the Cardinals began in an early hole as their starter allowed at least one run in the first inning. The starting pitching has gone nine games without a quality start and six games without completing six innings.

But the current woes are centered on the slumbering offense. The hitters, a feast-or-famine bunch all year long, have combined for only 16 singles and three doubles in those 36 innings. The only run scored by the Cardinals in the four games was the result of a throwing error.

In this stretch, the Cardinals have not only lost; they have been steamrolled. Their 32-1 scoring deficit is the team’s worst streak of futility since 1958 and tied for third-worst in team history.

Largest deficit over four games, St. Louis Cardinals team history (since 1900)

StartDate EndDate Game # W-L Runs scored Runs allowed Run differential
8/24/1936 8/26/1936 119-122 0-4 16 52 -36
7/16/1953 7/18/1953 84-87 0-4 12 44 -32
7/12/1953 7/17/1953 82-85 0-4 6 37 -31
8/28/2012 8/31/2012 129-132 0-4 1 32 -31

Just to make sure we don’t let the pitchers off the hook, the following is one way to indicate their role in this. This is the fifth time in team history that the offense scored just one run in four games. In the same stretches, the only time the pitchers allowed more than 18 runs was back in 1892. Still, those 20 runs are considerably less than the current 32 yielded by Cardinals pitching.

Largest deficit when scoring one run over four games, St. Louis Cardinals team history

StartDate EndDate Game # W-L Runs scored Runs allowed Run differential
07/19/1892 07/21/1892 78-81 0-4 1 20 -19
6/15/1907 6/18/1907 52-55 0-4 1 9 -8
8/1/1958 8/3/1958 98-101 0-4 1 7 -6
10/8/1904 10/9/1904 152-155 0-4 1 18 -17
8/28/2012 8/31/2012 129-132 0-4 1 32 -31

Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the tables above.

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32 Responses to “Cardinals last four losses historically bad”

  1. Nutlaw says:

    Well, I imagine that the road trip doesn’t help. Given that they are struggling to maintain their grip on their wild card spot despite only two teams in the league (Cincy and Texas) having a better home record, it’s clear that they don’t like traveling.

    The offense has a .740 road OPS versus a .790 home OPS. The top four players in home OPS are pretty terrible on the road:

    Craig (1.009 vs .838)
    Carpenter (.984 vs .758)
    Jay (.941 vs .640)
    Beltran (.939 vs .743)

    As I recall, many Cardinals struggled on the road last season as well. I wonder why. In this case, it’s a bunch of young guys and Beltran. Maybe the young guys aren’t comfortable or focused while traveling?

    • Nutlaw says:

      Also, the Cardinals don’t seem to like the NL East in general, going 9-17 against them (home and away). They dropped two of three in Atlanta, three of four in New York, two of three in Philly, and now the first two in Washington. (They did embarrass hapless Miami.)

      Maybe they don’t like traveling far? A five game trip out to SF and LA saw them go 1-4. Makes me feel even less comfortable with a seven game road trip out to San Diego and LA in mid-September.

  2. Bw52 says:

    A win.A win.Jeez can`t anybody pitch anymore?Nice comeback though.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Not surprising to lose a few. Its harder to win on the road. The Pirates and Nats are good teams.
    Gonzalez has won 17 games, he is a good pitcher. Edwin Jackson helped us win the WS last year, he has a good arm.
    What is surprising is to fight back to win one in DC.

    Good to get Sam Freeman back. We need a second lefty in the pen and Freeman has pitched well for Memphis. He can audition for the 2013 squad during September.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      2012 is a year when some of Mo’s gambles on older players did not succeed.
      We gave $10MM to Chris Carpenter and he has not been able to toss an inning. We gave $12MM to Lance Berkman who has played little. After being ineffective at the plate during June-August, Furcal has now hurt his elbow.
      Rolling the dice on costly older players seems like something for the DeWitts to think about this off season.

      • Brian Walton says:

        The main reason Berkman was brought back was because of the Pujols uncertainty. Furcal got two years once Albert left. Not saying I like it, but I believe that is the cause and effect. The Cards had to work around the big decision with short-term bandaids.

  4. crdswmn says:

    If Westbrook can’t keep the ball down, the Nats are going to tee off on him.

    Does anyone think Molina will be in the lineup?

    The Cardinals are going to need to knuckle down and feed off the Mets and the Brewers this week.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    Bryan Anderson had the highest OPS on our team, when Matheny was making up the lineup card. Lets play ball!

  6. crdswmn says:

    Strauss is reporting the Cardinals are going to call up Shelby Miller

    Not sure how I feel about this move.

  7. Bw52 says:

    Wow.That is a surprise.Figured Miller would get a good look in ST in 2013.

  8. crdswmn says:

    Am I wrong to disagree with Matheny bringing Lance Lynn to pitch in a tie game when he is struggling? He admits that Lynn is not pitching his best yet he brings him in with the game on the line knowing this? What am I missing?

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