Know Your Foe #33: Third-Place Cardinals Bring High-Powered Offense to Denver

July 16, 2012: Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) celebrates with right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) following the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The last time we checked in on the Cardinals, they were in third place in the NL Central at three games over .500, but still within striking distance as they were just two and a half games out of first. Since that point, they have doubled the amount of games in which they're over .500 (now six), but they find themselves seven games back due to the unbeatable streak that the Reds are currently enjoying.

The Cards have Lance Berkman back in the lineup after missing the majority of the season with a knee injury, but other than that, things have been holding steady since about a month ago when they took two out of three from the Rockies in St. Louis. Their offense is still decidedly above-average, the top of their rotation is strong, and the back-end of their bullpen remains more-or-less unhittable. However, the same weaknesses are still there as well; Adam Wainwright still hasn't found his old form, and the middle relief has been decidedly below-average.

Let's face it: the Cardinals have a lot of above-average offensive players. Allen Craig, David Freese, Yadier Molina...the list goes on and on. They even have a couple of great ones in Berkman and Carlos Beltran. And then there's a guy who is elite - a guy who owns, including this year, a streak of seven straight seasons in which he's posted an OPS+ of 137 or better. The man is Matt Holliday.


Matt Holliday

#7 / Left Field / St. Louis Cardinals

6-4

235

R

R

Jan 15, 1980


AVG OBP SLG
2012 - Matt Holliday .319 .404 .535


A superstar-level player who was first ignored because of where he played, then forgotten about because of who he played with, Holliday has taken the city of St. Louis by storm in 2012, which is shaping up to be his best season yet. It didn't start without some adversity; Matty hit just .215/.277/.376 in April before exploding for a .353/.442/.587 line since. In addition to posting the highest OPS+ of his career (153), Holliday is also on pace to set a new personal best in walks. Many things have helped the Cardinals overcome the loss of Albert Pujols, but Holliday is right there at the top of the list.

Despite Wainwright not being at his best, the Cards' rotation remains strong due to the fact that none of their starters walk anybody, and because Lance Lynn and Kyle Lohse have enjoyed as fine of a year as anyone could have imagined. Lohse leads the group with a 2.71 ERA/144 ERA+, while winning ten games and limiting opponents to a team-best 1.5 BB/9. Meanwhile, Lynn boasts a team-high 13 victories and owns a 3.42 ERA/114 ERA+ while striking out more than a batter per inning.

The middle part of the bullpen has been the Cardinals' one overwhelming weakness this season, but it's almost cancelled out by the fact that the back end has been so good. Setup man Mitchell Boggs owns a 1.65 ERA and has only allowed two homers this year, while closer Jason Motte has 23 saves, a 2.60 ERA, and strikes out 9.4 per nine innings while walking just over two.

Expected pitching matchups and more after the jump.

Game 1 - tonight at 6:40 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Kyle Lohse (10-2, 2.71 ERA) vs. Jeff Francis (3-2, 4.97 ERA)

Game 2 - tomorrow at 6:40 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Jake Westbrook (9-8, 3.61) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 4.99)

Game 3 - Thursday at 6:40 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Lance Lynn (13-4, 3.42) vs. Christian Friedrich (5-8, 6.17)


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Matt Holliday 99 376 65 120 25 1 18 66 52 76 4 2 .319 .404 .535
Skip Schumaker 60 151 23 48 11 3 0 19 20 26 0 1 .318 .395 .430
David Freese 92 335 49 106 19 1 14 58 35 82 2 2 .316 .385 .504
Yadier Molina 89 332 40 101 18 0 16 51 25 40 8 1 .304 .356 .503
Jaime Garcia 11 24 4 7 0 1 0 2 1 8 0 0 .292 .320 .375
Jon Jay 59 204 35 59 9 1 2 17 19 34 9 1 .289 .367 .373
Allen Craig 61 232 43 67 18 0 15 51 24 52 1 0 .289 .354 .560
Matt Carpenter 66 171 26 49 12 4 4 23 19 38 1 0 .287 .362 .474
Carlos Beltran 96 351 57 99 14 1 23 73 42 75 9 4 .282 .358 .524
Lance Berkman 26 71 12 20 7 1 2 7 12 17 2 0 .282 .400 .493
Rafael Furcal 96 389 60 106 14 1 5 42 41 44 12 4 .272 .341 .352
Shane Robinson 64 125 13 32 5 0 2 12 9 25 1 0 .256 .304 .344
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 87 215 25 52 5 4 3 13 26 48 4 3 .242 .327 .344
Tyler Greene 75 172 16 38 8 2 4 18 13 53 9 2 .221 .277 .360
Tony Cruz 28 75 6 16 5 1 1 8 0 12 0 1 .213 .211 .347
Erik Komatsu 15 19 3 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 .211 .286 .211
Jake Westbrook 22 35 2 6 1 0 0 0 4 15 1 0 .171 .256 .200
Steven Hill 6 7 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .143 .143 .286
Joe Kelly 13 16 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 7 0 0 .125 .125 .125
Kyle Lohse 22 41 2 4 0 0 0 1 2 11 0 0 .098 .136 .098
Adam Wainwright 21 41 2 4 1 0 0 2 1 18 0 0 .098 .119 .122
Lance Lynn 20 35 3 3 0 0 0 1 2 25 0 0 .086 .132 .086
Fernando Salas 40 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 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jason Motte 40 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Marc Rzepczynski 47 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
Brian Fuentes 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Trevor Rosenthal 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Barret Browning 13 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 43 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Mitchell Boggs 46 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
Brandon Dickson 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2.1 3 1 0 0 0 1 0.00 1.29
Brian Fuentes 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 1 0 0 0 1 3 0.00 1.20
Mitchell Boggs 2-1 46 0 0 0 0 2 43.2 36 10 8 2 12 34 1.65 1.10
Jason Motte 4-3 40 0 0 0 23 4 45.0 30 13 13 5 12 47 2.60 .93
Barret Browning 0-0 13 0 0 0 0 0 10.0 5 3 3 0 3 7 2.70 .80
Kyle Lohse 10-2 22 21 0 0 0 0 136.1 127 44 41 11 22 78 2.71 1.09
Joe Kelly 1-4 13 9 0 0 0 0 51.2 50 22 17 5 18 32 2.96 1.32
Lance Lynn 13-4 20 20 0 0 0 0 121.0 109 47 46 11 41 123 3.42 1.24
Jake Westbrook 9-8 22 20 1 0 0 0 127.0 131 58 51 8 32 83 3.61 1.28
Adam Wainwright 8-10 21 21 1 1 0 0 129.1 132 67 61 11 33 123 4.24 1.28
Fernando Salas 1-3 40 0 0 0 0 1 38.0 37 18 18 2 20 40 4.26 1.50
Victor Marte 2-2 43 0 0 0 0 2 38.1 44 19 19 6 13 33 4.46 1.49
Jaime Garcia 3-4 11 11 0 0 0 0 66.1 78 34 33 2 19 51 4.48 1.46
Trevor Rosenthal 0-1 4 0 0 0 0 0 4.0 4 2 2 1 2 3 4.50 1.50
Marc Rzepczynski 1-3 47 0 0 0 0 5 33.2 36 18 18 6 13 22 4.81 1.46
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
Sam Freeman 0-1 13 0 0 0 0 0 12.0 10 9 8 2 7 10 6.00 1.42
Eduardo Sanchez 0-1 17 0 0 0 0 0 15.0 11 11 11 2 13 13 6.60 1.60
Maikel Cleto 0-0 9 0 0 0 0 0 9.0 13 7 7 4 2 15 7.00 1.67
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

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rafael Furcal lower-back 07/31/2012

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Carpenter shoulder 03/26/2012
Kyle McClellan elbow 05/18/2012
Jaime Garcia shoulder 06/06/2012

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker