Which St. Louis Cardinals Have Been the Most 'Clutch' This Young Season?

USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals are tied with the Cincinnati Reds in runs per game thanks to their clutch hitting. Which Cardinals have shown the most clutchy-ness so far in this young 2013 season?

The St. Louis Cardinals open another important early-season series against the defending NL Central champs today at Busch. Both clubs find themselves looking up a the Pirates in the division standings as the calendar approaches May. The Cardinals sit in second place after losing a weekend series at home to Pittsburgh thanks in part to the fact that they plated just two runs combined in the series' second and third games.

On paper, the Cardinals offense is about where one would expect it to be. El Birdos are currently tied for third in the NL in runs per game. St. Louis is averaging 4.75 runs per game, which ties them with Cincy. The two NL Central rivals trail the Rockies (5.08) and Mets (5.00) in runs per game. However, the Cardinals' runs per game is higher than one would expect given their overall offensive line.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS OFFENSIVE STATS & NL RANK

Stat

Number

NL Rank

R/G

4.75

3rd

Hits

198

6th

BB

67

10th

SO

171

12th

HR

19

11th

BA

.246

7th

OBP

.309

10th

SLG

.374

12th

OPS

.683

12th


The component parts of the Cardinals offense indicate a team that should be scoring runs at a far lower rate than they currently are. As Dave Cameron noted earlier this week in an excellent post at Fangraphs, this is because of, "The Importance of Sequencing." That is, the Cardinals have had excellent situational hitting. I've updated one of the charts from Cameron's post and added the RISP with 2 outs split.

2013 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS SITUATIONAL HITTING SPLITS

Split

PA

H

HR

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

Bases Empty

516

98

12

.206

.269

.326

.596

Men On Base

384

100

7

.303

.365

.446

.811

RISP

230

66

3

.335

.404

.452

.856

RISP & 2 Outs

110

34

2

.362

.455

.521

.976


The Cardinals are where they are this year because of starting pitching and clutch hitting. However, the offense has stalled for long and frustrating stretches because the Redbirds have failed to get men on base. It's quite striking, actually, because hardly any St. Louis players have put up good numbers while batting with the bases empty this young season.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS INDIVIDUAL BATTING STATS WITH BASES EMPTY

Player

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

M. Adams

15

.417

.533

.667

1.200

Y. Molina

48

.283

.313

.457

.769

C. Beltran

55

.245

.273

.491

.763

M. Carpenter

64

.246

.281

.459

.740

D. Freese

23

.211

.348

.316

.664

S. Robinson

22

.235

.409

.235

.644

J. Jay

57

.241

.281

.333

.614

P. Kozma

51

.217

.294

.304

.598

M. Holliday

54

.133

.278

.222

.500

A. Craig

49

.170

.204

.234

.438

D. Descalso

36

.171

.194

.229

.423

Wigginton

9

.000

.111

.000

.111


It's a team-wide failure. Only four Cardinals have an OBP over .300 with the bases empty. While the opportunities to bat with ducks on the pond may be few and far between, St. Louis have hit well in such opportunities.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS INDIVIDUAL BATTING STATS WITH MEN ON BASE

Player

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

M. Adams

12

.667

.667

1.417

2.083

M. Holliday

40

.471

.550

.676

1.226

C. Beltran

34

.367

.441

.600

1.041

M. Carpenter

35

.333

.455

.481

.936

A. Craig

45

.366

.400

.488

.888

P. Kozma

32

.357

.375

.464

.839

Y. Molina

46

.302

.348

.395

.743

J. Jay

36

.200

.273

.400

.673

T. Wigginton

10

.300

.300

.300

.600

D. Descalso

18

.125

.222

.188

.410

D. Freese

28

.154

.214

.154

.368

S. Robinson

8

.000

.125

.000

.125


ST. LOUIS CARDINALS INDIVIDUAL BATTING STATS WITH RISP

Player

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

M. Adams

6

.500

.500

1.333

1.833

C. Beltran

20

.471

.550

.706

1.256

M. Holliday

26

.524

.615

.619

1.234

A. Craig

29

.423

.448

.538

.987

Y. Molina

27

.360

.407

.440

.847

T. Wigginton

5

.400

.400

.400

.800

M. Carpenter

24

.222

.391

.389

.780

D. Descalso

11

.222

.364

.333

.697

P. Kozma

22

.333

.364

.333

.697

J. Jay

21

.222

.300

.389

.689

D. Freese

17

.188

.235

.188

.423

S. Robinson

4

.000

.000

.000

.000


ST. LOUIS CARDINALS INDIVIDUAL BATTING STATS WITH RISP & 2 OUTS

Player

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

C. Beltran

11

.700

.727

1.100

1.827

A. Craig

13

.636

.692

.909

1.601

J. Jay

8

.429

.500

.857

1.357

M. Holliday

12

.556

.667

.667

1.333

M. Carpenter

13

.222

.462

.556

1.017

P. Kozma

10

.250

.400

.250

.650

D. Descalso

7

.200

.429

.200

.629

Y. Molina

16

.200

.250

.267

.517

D. Freese

9

.222

.222

.222

.444

M. Adams

1

.000

.000

.000

.000

S. Robinson

2

.000

.000

.000

.000

T. Wigginton

0

-

-

-

-


The Cardinals will not continue to hit as poorly as they have with the bases empty. They also won't continue to hit as well as they have with men on base, RISP, and RISP with 2 outs. Nonetheless, their early season clutch hitting is the reason they are tied with the Reds for third in the NL in runs per game and a big reason why they're a half-game behind the first-place Pirates.

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