Know Your Foe #27: Beltran, Cardinals Set to Tee Off Against Rockies

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 16: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium on June 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Entering this series in third place, the St. Louis Cardinals have battled numerous injuries to key players, and the loss of a franchise one, and still find themselves in a good spot (41-38, 2.5 games out of first) as they near the halfway point of the season. Lance Berkman, Chris Carpenter, Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay, Allen Craig, and several other crucial components to the team have missed significant time, while Albert Pujols notoriously bailed out on the Cards for the sunnier, brighter, and more pleasant confines of Anaheim.

Fortunately for St. Louis, a number of players have stepped up to the point where some are enjoying the finest season of their respective careers. Longtime Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has had only one season in his career with an OPS+ greater than 100, and that was last year. He has continued his momentum from a season ago, posting a 139 OPS+ to this point of the season, which is good enough to get him selected to the NL All-Star team for the fourth consecutive year. Speaking of picking up where last year left off, David Freese is enjoying a fine season as well. One of the "final five" players who can be voted onto the NL All-Star team, Freese has matched Molina's home run total of 13 while posting a similar 130 OPS+. Matt Holliday is quietly having another huge season, despite being snubbed from the ASG roster, as he's hit 12 homers and racked up a 143 OPS+, which is good for second on the team behind this guy:


Carlos Beltran

#3 / Right Field / St. Louis Cardinals

6-1

215

B

R

Apr 24, 1977


AVG OBP SLG
2012 - Carlos Beltran .310 .396 .576


Beltran has had a long and terrific career with many good seasons in several different uniforms. However, he's on a different level this season. Beltran is currently pace to mash more than 40 homers while putting up an OPS+ north of 160. The latter would be the highest of his illustrious career; as for the former, he's only eclipsed that once (41 bombs in 2006). As a reward for his terrific season, Beltran will be starting in the outfield for the NL a week from tomorrow, and will be making his 7th ASG appearance overall.

In addition to the guys mentioned above, the Cardinals are also getting above-average production from Matt Carpenter (132 OPS+), Jon Jay (113 OPS+), Allen Craig (166 OPS+, 11 HR), and Skip Schumaker (107 OPS+). Rafael Furcal has cooled off a bit since a scorching start to the season, but he's performed at a near-league-average level, and is set to start for the NL All-Star team at shortstop next week. And, in case you were wondering, Lance Berkman was mashing again (171 OPS+) before he was injured, and is due back in a few weeks.

Even with all of the big-name bats they've had over the years, pitching has still been the Cards' bread and butter. This year, they've relied a little bit more on the sticks, but this is still a pretty good pitching staff. Kyle Lohse (138 ERA+) has been the best of the bunch, as he has continued to thrive even without the tutelage of Dave Duncan. Lohse won't strike out a ton of batters, but he is very good at limiting walks (1.5 BB/9) and, like fellow rotation mate Jake Westbrook (100 ERA+), is very good at inducing grounders. Lance Lynn was named to the NL All-Star team as well, behind a 10-4 record and a 3.62 ERA. He's in the middle of a string of poor starts, but Lynn has been legitimately solid over the course of the season, striking out more than a batter per inning on his way to a 108 ERA+. Adam Wainwright hasn't been himself this year (82 ERA+), and Jaime Garcia was having some struggles before landing on the DL about a month ago. Rookie Joe Kelly (117 ERA+) has filled in nicely, though his peripherals (minus his walk rate, which has been good) suggest he's due for some regression.

The Cardinals have a bullpen, but outside of Jason Motte (17 saves, 121 ERA+, 3.00 K/BB ratio), and Mitchell Boggs (191 ERA+, 3.00 K/BB ratio), it hasn't been anything to write home about.

Pitching matchups and more after the jump...

Tonight at 6:15 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Josh Oxymoronman (0-3, 9.32 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.82 ERA)

Tomorrow at 6:15 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Jeff Francis (1-1, 5.47) vs. Joe Kelly (1-0, 3.38)

Wednesday at 5:15 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Christian Friedrich (4-5, 5.52) vs. Adam Wainwright (6-8, 4.75)

Thursday at 6:15 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Drew Pomeranz (0-3, 3.72) vs. Lance Lynn (10-4, 3.62)


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Lance Berkman 13 42 8 14 5 1 1 4 6 10 1 0 .333 .429 .571
Jon Jay 36 134 25 43 3 1 2 10 8 18 6 1 .321 .372 .403
Yadier Molina 71 260 34 81 15 0 13 45 20 27 7 1 .312 .364 .519
Allen Craig 39 148 26 46 11 0 11 39 18 36 1 0 .311 .382 .608
Carlos Beltran 75 271 48 84 10 1 20 61 38 56 7 3 .310 .396 .576
Matt Holliday 76 293 52 90 19 1 12 49 40 59 3 2 .307 .391 .502
Jaime Garcia 11 24 4 7 0 1 0 2 1 8 0 0 .292 .320 .375
Matt Carpenter 47 127 21 37 10 4 3 21 11 30 0 0 .291 .354 .504
Skip Schumaker 39 105 16 30 8 2 0 13 12 18 0 1 .286 .356 .400
Rafael Furcal 76 304 52 85 12 1 5 31 31 37 9 3 .280 .345 .375
David Freese 72 272 35 76 13 1 13 48 20 73 1 2 .279 .330 .478
Shane Robinson 60 123 13 31 5 0 2 11 8 25 1 0 .252 .295 .341
Adron Chambers 23 36 2 9 0 1 0 3 4 12 0 1 .250 .325 .306
Matt Adams 27 86 8 21 6 0 2 13 5 24 0 0 .244 .286 .384
Daniel Descalso 67 171 20 39 5 3 3 11 21 45 2 2 .228 .318 .345
Tyler Greene 58 155 16 35 8 2 4 16 12 47 8 2 .226 .286 .381
Erik Komatsu 15 19 3 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 .211 .286 .211
Joe Kelly 6 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 .200 .200 .200
Tony Cruz 22 56 5 11 3 0 1 1 0 7 0 1 .196 .196 .304
Jake Westbrook 18 25 2 4 0 0 0 0 3 13 1 0 .160 .250 .160
Steven Hill 6 7 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .143 .143 .286
Kyle Lohse 17 30 2 3 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 0 .100 .129 .100
Lance Lynn 16 30 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 20 0 0 .100 .100 .100
Adam Wainwright 16 32 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 0 0 .063 .063 .063
Fernando Salas 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Brandon Dickson 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kyle McClellan 16 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Maikel Cleto 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jason Motte 32 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Marc Rzepczynski 38 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Chuckie Fick 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Sam Freeman 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Barret Browning 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Eduardo Sanchez 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Victor Marte 36 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Mitchell Boggs 35 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
J.C. Romero 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Barret Browning 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 .00
Brandon Dickson 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2.1 3 1 0 0 0 1 0.00 1.29
Mitchell Boggs 1-1 35 0 0 0 0 2 35.0 29 10 8 2 9 27 2.06 1.09
Kyle Lohse 7-2 17 16 0 0 0 0 102.0 94 35 32 9 17 58 2.82 1.09
Jason Motte 3-3 32 0 0 0 17 4 36.0 23 13 13 5 12 36 3.25 .97
Joe Kelly 1-0 6 4 0 0 0 0 21.1 28 9 8 2 4 11 3.38 1.50
Lance Lynn 10-4 16 16 0 0 0 0 97.0 87 40 39 9 34 98 3.62 1.25
Victor Marte 2-1 36 0 0 0 0 1 35.1 38 15 15 3 12 31 3.82 1.42
Jake Westbrook 7-6 18 16 1 0 0 0 99.0 107 48 43 8 26 65 3.91 1.34
Jaime Garcia 3-4 11 11 0 0 0 0 66.1 78 34 33 2 19 51 4.48 1.46
Maikel Cleto 0-0 5 0 0 0 0 0 6.0 9 3 3 2 1 9 4.50 1.67
Adam Wainwright 6-8 16 16 1 1 0 0 96.2 102 54 51 10 28 91 4.75 1.34
Kyle McClellan 0-1 16 0 0 0 0 0 18.2 16 11 11 2 9 11 5.30 1.34
Chuckie Fick 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 3 1 1 0 1 0 5.40 2.40
Marc Rzepczynski 1-3 38 0 0 0 0 5 27.2 34 18 18 6 9 18 5.86 1.55
Sam Freeman 0-1 13 0 0 0 0 0 12.0 10 9 8 2 7 10 6.00 1.42
Fernando Salas 0-3 28 0 0 0 0 1 25.1 32 17 17 2 15 27 6.04 1.86
Eduardo Sanchez 0-1 17 0 0 0 0 0 15.0 11 11 11 2 13 13 6.60 1.60
J.C. Romero 0-0 11 0 0 0 0 0 8.0 14 9 9 3 2 5 10.13 2.00


St. Louis Cardinals Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Lance Berkman knee 05/20/2012
Jaime Garcia shoulder 06/06/2012

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Carpenter shoulder 03/26/2012
Kyle McClellan elbow 05/18/2012

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