After scoring just two runs against the New York Mets on Wednesday evening, the St. Louis Cardinals’ record dropped to 12-10 on the 2014 season. While the pitching, particularly the starters, have been very good, the offense has yet to find its groove.
Through 22 games, the Cards are tied for 13th in the 15-team National League with 79 runs scored. Catcher Yadier Molina, who plated the first St. Louis tally on Wednesday, and outfielder Matt Holliday are co-team leaders in runs batted in, with 11 each.
With the help of researcher Tom Orf, we learn that in only four of the last 45 seasons did the Cardinals RBI leader through 22 games have fewer than 11 RBI. The most recent occurrence was in 1997, Tony La Russa’s second season as manager. The other times were in 1988, 1986 and 1973. One common thread is that the Cardinals missed the post-season in all four of those campaigns.
At the current pace, the team leaders for the full 2014 season would finish with just 81 RBI. The last time the total was that low was in 1995 when team leader Brian Jordan had 81. Same with Todd Zeile in 1991. The year before, Pedro Guerrero hit the low water mark with 80. 1990 is also remembered as the most recent year in which St. Louis finished in last place.
The current Cardinals offense clearly has more talent, but they need to get their collective act together or there could be trouble when the pitching cools down.
St. Louis Cardinals team RBI leader through 22 games, annual since 1960
|2014||Yadier Molina||11||3||Matt Holliday||11||1|
|2003||Edgar Renteria||17||4||Jim Edmonds||17||5|
|1988||Vince Coleman||9||2||Bob Horner||9||2|
|1973||Lou Brock||10||1||Joe Torre||10||2|
|1960||Ken Boyer||16||6||Bill White||16||3|