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Cardinals September hitting equals Kozma’s season

While the St. Louis Cardinals still have a historically good full-season mark in batting average with runners in scoring position, the fact is that there have been precious few runners on base to drive in during September.

A prime indication that the Cards’ bats have been in a deep slumber is a combined September batting average of just .217.

As researcher Tom Orf points out in the table below, if it continues, this would be the worst final month for the club in terms of batting average in team history.

The bottom 10 follows. (Any regular season games in October are included in the final month numbers.)

St. Louis Cardinals regular season batting average, September/October, worst

Year G BA GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 13 .217 117 492 433 57 94 23 2 8 50 4 4 44 100 .217 .292 .335 .627
1987 32 .224 288 1155 1038 109 233 37 8 13 100 46 14 98 200 .224 .289 .313 .602
1916 30 .229 270 1060 974 73 223 28 3 3 30 38 56 131 .229 .275 .273 .548
1959 21 .231 189 760 670 82 155 32 5 14 78 7 6 75 109 .231 .311 .357 .667
1950 31 .232 279 1156 1028 107 238 40 7 20 99 1 2 109 106 .232 .309 .342 .651
1966 29 .233 261 1050 975 93 227 42 8 16 88 27 7 62 170 .233 .280 .342 .622
1932 26 .235 234 944 886 86 208 44 8 16 78 10 0 50 96 .235 .276 .357 .633
1941 28 .235 252 1046 920 98 216 32 10 10 85 11 0 100 103 .235 .315 .324 .638
1991 34 .237 306 1217 1090 124 258 56 6 20 113 38 26 102 205 .237 .303 .354 .657
1982 31 .237 279 1162 1035 100 245 33 6 14 86 31 23 98 178 .237 .302 .321 .623

In some small bit of consolation, the championship clubs of 1982 and 1987 also made the final-month worst 10.

During the average September/October over the last century, the Cards batted .266, with a high of .331 in 1930. As the top 10 list indicates below, the 2011 club at .294 was best in recent times. Last year’s team batted .260.

St. Louis Cardinals regular season batting average, September/October, best

Year G BA GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1930 25 .331 225 999 901 183 298 69 18 16 176 12 0 65 89 .331 .379 .501 .880
1922 31 .317 279 1235 1111 200 352 41 23 24 178 14 16 80 99 .317 .366 .460 .826
1925 25 .316 225 932 827 150 261 45 14 16 139 19 12 71 81 .316 .375 .462 .836
1921 29 .314 261 1054 947 139 297 39 22 5 132 12 16 64 90 .314 .360 .417 .777
1939 35 .313 315 1401 1257 197 394 82 15 22 188 4 0 94 130 .313 .364 .455 .819
1926 25 .304 225 1003 904 148 275 49 17 11 131 17 0 66 69 .304 .354 .433 .787
1931 25 .298 225 958 866 136 258 56 10 8 124 20 0 73 66 .298 .355 .413 .768
1947 27 .298 243 1095 969 141 289 47 15 14 133 2 0 108 88 .298 .372 .421 .793
2011 26 .294 234 1002 889 128 261 54 6 25 122 13 7 80 151 .294 .354 .452 .807
1949 29 .293 261 1172 1034 160 303 58 9 24 154 2 2 112 86 .293 .365 .436 .801

On the other hand, the Cards’ pitching has been doing its best work during September. They improved during the 8-5 month (through Saturday, September 14) to the tune of a 2.80 ERA and .232 batting average against. That contrasts with the season-worst ERA of 4.06 in August and is even better than April (3.19) and May (2.99), when the pitching was also carrying the club.

In terms of individual hitters, there is Matt Carpenter and everyone else. In September, the leadoff man is batting 100 points higher than the next-best Cardinals hitter. Excluding the second baseman, the Cards are batting just .196 this month.

The identity of the second-place September hitter should indicate the depth of the offensive slump, as it is none other than Pete Kozma. By hitting .273 this month, the shortstop has elevated his season average to .218.

In an interesting point of synergy, that is almost exactly the same mark (.218) as the entire team is batting in September (.217).

Among those dragging down the Cardinals this month are Yadier Molina (.150), Daniel Descalso (.160), Jon Jay (.189) and Carlos Beltran (.211). Matt Adams‘ home run total of four equals the rest of the team’s output.

It is not as if the reserves or the September call ups are doing any better, because they are not. In other words, no immediate solution appears to be in sight.

St. Louis Cardinals offense, sorted by batting average, September 1-14, 2013

Position players G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
Matt Carpenter 13 13 51 15 19 7 2 0 4 7 11 1 0 0.373 0.458 0.588 1.046
Pete Kozma 11 6 22 5 6 1 0 0 1 2 4 1 0 0.273 0.333 0.318 0.651
Matt Holliday 13 13 45 5 12 3 0 1 11 9 10 0 0 0.267 0.375 0.400 0.775
Matt Adams 11 8 37 6 9 0 0 4 6 2 13 0 0 0.243 0.282 0.568 0.850
David Freese 13 11 35 3 8 1 0 2 7 6 11 0 0 0.229 0.326 0.429 0.755
Allen Craig 4 4 14 2 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 0.214 0.267 0.214 0.481
Carlos Beltran 11 11 38 3 8 3 0 0 5 7 5 0 0 0.211 0.319 0.289 0.608
Shane Robinson 10 4 19 2 4 1 0 0 0 3 2 0 1 0.211 0.318 0.263 0.581
Jon Jay 12 10 37 7 7 2 0 0 6 4 7 2 2 0.189 0.311 0.243 0.554
Daniel Descalso 11 6 25 1 4 1 0 0 2 0 3 0 1 0.160 0.160 0.200 0.360
Tony Cruz 6 3 13 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0.154 0.154 0.154 0.308
Yadier Molina 11 10 40 4 6 2 0 1 5 2 6 0 0 0.150 0.190 0.275 0.465
Kolten Wong 9 2 14 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 0.071 0.133 0.071 0.204
Brock Peterson 8 2 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Adron Chambers 6 0 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Rob Johnson 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333
Ryan Jackson 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Pitchers G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
Michael Wacha 3 3 5 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0.400 0.400 0.400 0.800
Adam Wainwright 3 3 7 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.286 0.286 0.571 0.857
Joe Kelly 3 3 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.334
Shelby Miller 2 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Lance Lynn 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Jake Westbrook 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

14 games remain in the regular season for the club to rediscover its hitting formula or its 2013 post-season could end quickly.

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9 Responses to “Cardinals September hitting equals Kozma’s season”

  1. Brian Walton says:

    Sunday observations:
    Matt Carpenter now 22-for-56 (.393) in September.
    Adams has three homers and five RBI in his last five games.
    His five Sept. homers equals the rest of the team’s total.
    Molina increases his September hits total from six to ten.
    Cards’ 19 hits equals their total over the previous four games combined.
    Team finishes a 7-2 homestand.

  2. Brian Walton says:

    After 19 hits on Sunday, the Cardinals September average is up to .238. With the offense’s feast or famine nature, what is ahead in Denver?

    • blingboy says:

      Wouldn’t mind seeing Adams square one up with some elevation. Also, maybe Holliday will crank a couple out for old times sake.

      I am anxious to see what kind of outing Lynn has. Will he follow up the good one he had last time out? Also, will Kelly get back to winning ways? And which Adam will show up?

  3. Bw52 says:

    I don`t recall a Cards team that has been as extreme offensively as this 2013 team.Cards almost had as many hit yesterday as they did all week .Feast or famine.Just my opinion but the overall lack of speed is part of the problem.Very few fast guys who can hit a grasskiller and beat it out or steal bases.Cards hit a lot of doubles as Brian pointed out in the article earlier but how many Cards hit a single and can steal 2B consistently.I don`t expect cards to return to Whiteyball because Cards don`t have that kind of speed in their system.Cards have some guys who can steal some basesbut no burners that I can recall.
    Anyway adding a little speed to the roster can only help instead of having too many cloggers and taking 3 hits to score sometimes.

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