Forget Roy Oswalt.
How about that win streak, eh? Thank the GOB, because all that losing we experienced earlier this season, the Testicle Exploding Shit Storms (click at your own risk), the wrath of the hefty contracts, are now a vague memory thanks to the warm and fuzzy feeling of satisfaction and confidence in our team. And instead of hushing it up, ("the first rule about the streak is that you don't talk about the streak"-type mentality gets us all confused and meme-bombed) I'm going to talk about it and shake this thing down. And it's gonna be fun.
So, that effing win streak, how does it work? SSS Alert! Cardinals starters combined for a 3.45 FIP, and that included 2 Blake Hawksworth starts! Speaking of Blake, he actually got worse results in those 2 starts than he's pitched to receive: his ERA was 4.86, while his FIP was 4.28.
The starting rotation has done it's job of putting the Cardinals in good positions to win in all of their starts except once (Jaime's first start). They've pitched their way to a 2.20 ERA and 3.36 FIP. K/BB ratios combine for a solid 2.25. The most impressive thing to me about these numbers is that only one of Wainwright's (
good great, but not amazing) starts exists among those numbers.
The bullpen was mediocre as a whole in this time, but had great overall numbers (hey, I said SSS...) on the shoulders of Kyle McClellan and Ryan Franklin, who pitched over half the pen's innings in that time. KMac threw 7 innings in 8 games, and was due for some rest in favor of Motte, Boggs, or Salas, but extra innings in the final game thwarted any designs of that. Motte, Boggs, and Salas combined for just 5.1 innings of the pen's 21.1. Motte and Boggs allowed 7 hits and 6 walks (!), so it was nice see them get some innings in to improve upon bad recent outings each. It was also nice to see Salas finally get in the game, though that was only after the go-ahead runs in extra innings had been scored. He got in just once in the whole winning streak (and he's been up since July 2).
The offense has been noticeably better of late. We still stranded almost 7.5 runners a game (LOBster is only acceptable when it's a side for Chicken Dinners), and we batted just .275 with runners in scoring position, but with the way we pitched, our offense did the job. We averaged just under 6 runs scored a game, in support of just over 2 runs allowed each game, which is good for a Pythag of ~7 wins. We played well, but received a bit of luck in accomplishing The Streak.
Time for clutch-iness numbers! Our WPA leaders were Matt Holliday (.683), Allen Craig (.501), Randy Winn (!)(.457), Yadier Molina (.409), & Jon Jay (.284). Holy hotsauce Holliday! He's rocked the Thudstick in its real owner's absense and with better results, too, smacking 11 hits and 4 HR in 8 games, walking 6 times and striking out just 4 times. Allen Craig and Jon Jay have done awesome jobs of filling in for Ludwick and (*shudder*) Nick Stavinoha, and combined for 12 hits and 8 RBIs, walked 5 times and struck out 3 times.
(Oh and speaking of striking out, Albert didn't strike out once that whole Streak! Viva El Mang!)
Our negative WPA contributors were Colby Rasmus (-.178), Brendan Ryan (-.167), Nick Stavinoha (-.088), Jason LaRue (-.065), & Felipe Lopez (-.043). Matt Holliday laughed at their poor performance and outstripped all their combined efforts, with WPA left to spare. And considering how Colby's been one of the best at his position this season, plus that he's been nursing a sore hammy, I can give him a pass for his poor performance these past few games. But please Colby, stop playing worse than Brendan Ryan.
All the numbers here.
The Streak was so much fun. It's a shame it came to an end, but we'll live. Adam Wainwright wasn't his normal self, but still got the job done, and our young fireballers vying for the title of "Future Closer" dueled each other to a standstill at the expense of the Phillies' offense. As I said about KMac, he had been used a lot recently and probably should have been left as the last man in the pen in favor of Salas (ah, the protection of no one ever knowing if that would have worked out or not). The offense got overwhelmed by Cole Hamels early and let him continue to do so as his control and velocity dropped in later innings. Oh well, this loss can't get me too down, we just got done with a the best streak since '04. Any comps to the '04 team make me a happy camper! Go Cards!