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Cardinals Long Ball Heroics in Historic Context

The St. Louis Cardinals broke out of their four-game losing streak in powerful fashion, launching a quintet of home runs in their 10-3 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium Monday evening.

Researcher Tom Orf points out that Monday was the first time in Cardinals team history that the hitters in the sixth (Matt Adams), seventh (Aledmys Diaz), eighth (Kolten Wong) and ninth spots (Adam Wainwright (see photo) and Randal Grichuk) in the batting order went deep in the same contest.

With their 40 home runs through 26 games, the Cardinals are the improbable long ball leaders across all of MLB. As such, it may not be surprising that the five-home run burst is not the team’s highest output this season. St. Louis blasted six home runs off Cincinnati pitching on April 15.

Even with their early success, the 2016 Cardinals still have something to shoot for, however. While the April 15 outburst is tied for second all-time and Monday night’s five-homer game is among the top 13 in club history, one contest remains alone on top.

On May 7, 1940 at Sportsman’s Park against the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Cardinals blasted a team-record seven home runs. They were struck by catcher Don Padgett, second baseman Eddie Lake (two), first baseman Johnny Mize (two), third baseman Stu Martin and left fielder Ducky Medwick. Mize and Medwick have permanent plaques in Cooperstown.

Here are the top 13 home run games in Cardinals team history, ranked by number of home runs and date, courtesy of Orf. Note that while four clubs from the same year appear on the list twice, no team has hit at least five home runs three times in a season – at least not yet. The 2016 Cardinals still have five months of play ahead.

Date Opp Rslt AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
5 07 40 BRO W 18-2 43 18 20 4 2 7 18 0 1
4 15 16 CIN W 14-3 39 14 13 2 0 6 14 4 5
4 09 00 MIL W 11-2 39 11 16 2 0 6 11 6 6
5 02 16 PHI W 10-3 38 10 14 2 0 5 10 4 7
6 06 13 ARI W 12-8 40 12 17 3 0 5 12 4 6
6 24 05 PIT W 8-1 33 8 10 1 0 5 8 2 6
9 20 00 HOU W 11-6 34 11 11 1 0 5 11 3 6
8 14 98 PIT W 10-5 30 10 8 1 0 5 10 6 5
4 14 98 ARI W 15-5 35 15 13 2 0 5 15 8 5
7 01 94 COL W 11-4 38 11 17 2 1 5 11 1 6
4 14 55 MLN W 8-7 42 8 13 1 1 5 8 4 6
1954-05-02 (1) NYG W 10-6 37 10 14 1 0 5 9 5 6
1940-09-08 (1) PIT L 14-16 41 14 15 1 0 5 14 7 0

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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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3 Responses to “Cardinals Long Ball Heroics in Historic Context”

  1. Brian Walton says:

    A couple of things I forgot to mention above. Note last night’s game was the only one in the group in which there were also at least seven strikeouts.

    1940 really stands out for the opposite reason, with the Cards having just one strikeout combined across the two games during which they launched 12 home runs. Talk about making contact!

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    The slugging by SS Diaz seems remarkable in its own right. He is on a 30 homer annual pace, while also averaging around .400 and striking out seldom. Though the average and HR pace will abate, it’s still an astounding entry into MLB.

  3. Bw52 says:

    Cards still need to get the mighty Grichuk to get in a groove.The pitching is still way too inconsistent as is the hitting.

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