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Seven Consecutive Wins is Cardinals’ Best under Matheny

In my opinion, one of the strengths as well as weaknesses of Mike Matheny’s first three-plus clubs as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals is that the team never seemed to get too high or too low.

We saw consistently successful rosters that rarely reeled off major winning streaks, but usually avoided long losing skids as well. Winning two games of a given series was a far more common outcome than a sweep.

In terms of overall won-loss record, Matheny’s Cardinals have been very good, with an aggregate 294-217 mark, a .575 winning percentage. All three full-year clubs made the post-season and each at least reached the League Championship Series.

While the 2013 Cardinals dropped seven consecutive games, none of Matheny’s clubs had won more than six straight regular season contests – until now.

Granted, three of the recent victories have been extremely close – the extra-inning variety – yet it is the Cardinals who are coming out on top. I am at least as impressed with the current run of seven consecutive victories because of the momentum it represents as I am with the club’s 19-6 (.760) overall start that is rightfully drawing so much attention.

It will be interesting to watch if the 2015 Cardinals can both keep on winning as well as avoiding later setting a new Matheny record for consecutive losses, as well.

Here are the longest winning and losing streaks to date by season during Matheny’s tenure.

Year Longest win streak When Opponents Longest loss streak When Opponents
2012 Five June KC/Mia Five May-June Atl/NYM
2013 Six (twice) April-May Cin/Mil Seven July Atl/Pit
September Was/ChC
2014 Six Aug-Sept ChC/Pit/Mil Four (twice) July-Aug LAD/TB/ChC
Aug Pit/ChC
2015 to-date Seven * April-May Phi/Pit/ChC Two (twice) April ChC/Cin
* current April Mil/Phi

As reference, in his 16 years leading the Cardinals, Tony La Russa‘s clubs’ longest winning streaks were 11, 10, nine (twice) and eight games (four times). Oddly, the three longest were all in 2001.

La Russa’s teams lost nine consecutive games just once and dropped eight in a row only twice. The former was during the 2007 season while both eight-game skids occurred the year before, in 2006.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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5 Responses to “Seven Consecutive Wins is Cardinals’ Best under Matheny”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    It’s fun to have a hot streak at the onset of the year, yielding a spiffy record.

  2. blingboy says:

    I’m trying to convince my wife it would be a wonderful mother’s day gift if I took her to Memphis this weekend to see Gonzales and Garcia make their starts Saturday and Sunday. Not buying it so far

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Brian made a shrewd point about the team not getting too high or too low, given Matheny’s temperament. This fits with what is going on with Matt Carpenter. He is getting too revved up, not sleeping, pulse racing, he can’t relax enough. This leads to dehydration and dizziness. He gets too high and this leads to getting too low as well.
    Its unusual for ballplayers to be taken off line because of “extreme fatigue.” But its a good idea in this case. It matters, what goes on in their noggins. The guy needs to calm down and play at a sustainable pace, suited to the long season. Extreme dehydration can deplete electrolytes and produce a heart attack. That would not do Carpenter or the Cards any good. Better to step back, recharge, and get into a good frame of mind.
    They must be doing something similar with AA 3Bman Wisdom. Pull him out of competition, send him down to EST to consult with a hitting guru. Return to competition after Wisdom has a sounder approach. Makes sense.

    • blingboy says:

      My thinking is the situation has progressed beyond the thinking he just needs to rest and slow down stage. As we speak efforts are probably being made to secure a more definitive diagnosis. Hopefully its just a bug, but it is better to make efforts to find out rather than risk plowing ahead.

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