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.
|Delino DeShields||1998||8||Brian Jordan||1998||7|
|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|
|Reggie Smith||1974||9||Lou Brock||1974||7|
|Joe Torre||1971||8||Lou Brock||1971||7|
|Lou Brock||1967||12||Roger Maris||1967||7|
|Tim McCarver||1966||13||Lou Brock||1966||12|
|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|