As St. Louis Cardinals fans have seen all season long, the 2014 club has featured solid pitching along with an under-performing offense that remains last in the National League in run scoring. Despite that imbalance, the Cardinals are 12 games over .500 and just a half-game out of first place heading into Sunday’s action.
That pitching-hitting imbalance has shifted somewhat over the last 10 games. It is not surprising the club is 8-2 during that time because the offense has improved substantially as measured by the most basic, yet important measure – runs put on the scoreboard.
Prior to the current period, the Cardinals were averaging just under 3.8 runs per game this season. Over the last 10, they have improved upon that average by just over 1.5 runs additional per contest to 5.3 runs per game.
Another factor is consistency. In all 10 contests, the team scored at least four runs (and never more than seven). That is especially notable given the Cards’ offense has been shut out 11 times already this season.
|Cardinals offense||Runs per game||NL rank|
|2014 last 10 games (8/13-23)||5.30|
|2014 first 118 games (thru 8/12)||3.78||15|
It is unlikely that 5.30 runs per game rate can be sustained over the remainder of the season, but it is worth noting that the last four Cardinals clubs have generally been in the 4.5 to 4.8 runs per game territory over 162 games. Another point of reference is that the top run-scoring team in the National League this season, the Colorado Rockies, is scoring at a 4.67 rate over the first 129 games, a reminder that scoring is down overall across MLB this season.