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

Carpenter helps keep Cardinals triples alive

The triple is becoming a less and less frequent appearance in St. Louis Cardinals games, and across Major League Baseball, for that matter.

With the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates facing off this past weekend, two of the National League leaders in the three-base hit were on the field. League leader Starling Marte of Pittsburgh has 10. After tripling on Friday night, the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter has seven.

As a team, with 19 triples, the Cardinals have exactly half the total of the Milwaukee Brewers, who have 38. St. Louis is tied with Cincinnati for the third-fewest three-base hits in the NL.

Still, if Carpenter can get another triple in the final three weeks of the regular season, he would have the highest total by a Cardinal since Fernando Vina in 2001.

Two more and the second baseman would have the most since Delino DeShields had an NL-leading 14 triples in 1997, Tony La Russa’s second season as Cardinals manager.

Last season’s team leader in three-base hits, Daniel Descalso with seven, has yet to triple in 2013. Next behind Carpenter this season is Carlos Beltran with three.

In the following table, supplied by researcher Tom Orf, we see all Cardinals with seven or more triples in a season since 1960. League leading totals are in bold.

Player Year 3B
Matt Carpenter 2013 7
Daniel Descalso 2012 7
Brendan Ryan 2009 7
David Eckstein 2005 7
Fernando Vina 2001 8
Delino DeShields 1998 8 Brian Jordan 1998 7
Delino DeShields 1997 14
Ray Lankford 1996 8
Luis Alicea 1992 11
Ray Lankford 1991 15
Vince Coleman 1990 9 Milt Thompson 1990 7
Vince Coleman 1989 9 Milt Thompson 1989 8 Ozzie Smith 1989 8 Jose Oquendo 1989 7
Vince Coleman 1988 10 Lonnie Smith
Willie McGee 1987 11 Vince Coleman 1987 10
Vince Coleman 1986 8 Andy Van Slyke 1986 7 Willie McGee 1986 7
Willie McGee 1985 18 Vince Coleman 1985 10
Willie McGee 1984 11 Vince Coleman
David Green 1983 10 Willie McGee 1983 8
Willie McGee 1982 8 Lonnie Smith 1982 8
Tom Herr 1981 9 Garry Templeton 1981 8
Garry Templeton 1980 9 Keith Hernandez 1980 8
Garry Templeton 1979 19 Keith Hernandez 1979 11 Tony Scott 1979 10
Garry Templeton 1978 13 Jerry Morales 1978 8
Garry Templeton 1977 18 Jerry Mumphrey 1977 10
Mike Tyson 1976 9
Bake McBride 1975 9
Reggie Smith 1974 9 Lou Brock 1974 7
Lou Brock 1973 8
Lou Brock 1972 8
Joe Torre 1971 8 Lou Brock 1971 7
Joe Torre 1970 9
Lou Brock 1969 10
Lou Brock 1968 14
Lou Brock 1967 12 Roger Maris 1967 7
Tim McCarver 1966 13 Lou Brock 1966 12
Lou Brock 1965 8
Ken Boyer 1964 10 Lou Brock 1964 9
Dick Groat 1963 11 Julian Javier 1963 9
Curt Flood 1963 9 Bill White 1963 8 Tim McCarver 1963 7 George Altman 1963 7
Ken Boyer 1961 11 Bill White 1961 11
Ken Boyer 1960 10 Bill White 1960 10 Julian Javier 1960 8

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One Response to “Carpenter helps keep Cardinals triples alive”

  1. Bw52 says:

    Interesting that Roger Maris who only hit 9 HRs in 1967 had 7 triples.Read that Maris had hand injury (broken hamate bone in right hand) that stopped him from hitting with any power.Bill White was another power hitter who hit a decent amount of triples.Of course that great one Stanley Frank Musial averaged 8 triples a year.Another surprise was seeing leadfoot Joe Torre leading the team in triples twice.

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