For St. Louis Cardinals fans, Friday night’s 5-0 defeat in the National League Championship Series Game 5 offered a continuation of a frustrating trend. A night after the club scored eight runs against San Francisco, the offense laid a goose egg against non-hard throwing Barry Zito.
Yet, when they have been high, they have been very high. In seven playoff wins to date in 2012, the Cardinals offense has plated an average of 7.4 runs.
That average scoring difference of 6.4 runs between wins and losses is the largest spread in team post-season history.
For comparison, let’s look at the team’s offensive output in recent playoff years.
St. Louis Cardinals, post-season run-scoring, team history
|Cards||Gms with||Gms with||Gms with||Gms with||Gms with||R/win minus
|Playoffs||Losses||Runs||R/loss||0 runs||1 runs||Wins||Runs||R/win||8 runs||9 runs||10+ runs||R/loss|
Note that the Cardinals have been held to an average of one run or less in their post-season losses four times before. (Also, the 2012 Cards have been held to zero or one run three times already, but it is not their worst showing.)
The team has averaged 7.4 runs or more in their playoff wins two other years, including as recently as 2011. (Also, this year’s club has scored eight more runs four times already, tying 2011 with the most such games ever.)
However, as noted in the column at the far right, never has there been a gap as wide as 6.4 runs in scoring average by the Cardinals between their post-season wins and losses. In fact, they have never been close to this schizophrenic before, with the biggest prior gap at 5.5 runs in 1968.
In other words, the extent of the feast-or-famine nature of 2012 Cardinals scoring is unprecedented in team post-season history.
Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for pulling the above data.