In this countdown, I have already written about the 2015 St. Louis Cardinals pitching several times. Among the topics have been Carlos Martinez’ breakout, Jaime Garcia’s comeback, Trevor Rosenthal’s consistency as well as Adam Wainwright’s injury and John Lackey admirably filling the gap.
St. Louis’ team ERA of 2.94 was not only the lowest in all of Major League Baseball this season, it is the best by any team in the game over the last 27 years. It is the lowest by a Cardinals staff since 1969, way back when Bob Gibson was in his prime.
The low run-scoring was helped by the staff limiting the opposition to a .210 batting average with runners in scoring position. It was the team’s lowest such mark since 1974.
The Cards held their opposition to two or fewer runs in 80 of their 162 games (49%), which was 16 more games than the next closest team, San Francisco. St. Louis went 68‐12 in those 80 contests. It was the most two-or-fewer-runs allowed games by a Cardinals staff since 1968, “The Year of the Pitcher,” and the most in the majors since the 1972 Baltimore Orioles of Palmer, Dobson, Cuellar and McNally.
Think about that for a moment. Impressively, these 2015 feats were accomplished essentially without Wainwright, their ace.
Just looking at this season alone, the National League average team ERA was almost an entire run higher, at 3.90.
Here are individual numbers for starters first, followed by the relievers.
|Steve Cishek *||2.31||4.33||-0.1||4/9||44%||10||59/37||63%||17/11||65%|
|Jonathan Broxton *||2.66||3.56||0.1||0/3||0%||16||66/42||64%||12/6||50%|
|Tyler Lyons #||2.95||0/0||1||9/6||67%||6/2||33%|
|Adam Wainwright #||3.00||0/0||0||3/3||100%||0/0|
|* StL ERA/FIP, full|
|yr for other stats|
|# as reliever|
Just like following the team’s unprecedented hitting success with runners in scoring position a few years ago, one cannot expect historic results every season. While pitching should again be a strength of the 2016 Cardinals, more offensive help may be needed for the team to have a realistic chance to repeat 100 wins.
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