I'm going to attempt to make this a daily feature, as my job will allow. Hopefully you'll enjoy. Maybe you won't, but that's OK.
Shelby Miller: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR
Miller was plagued by an uncharacteristically high number of walks. He exceeded his season-high, which came in his first start of the season. At times it appeared that Miller was getting squeezed, but his curve ball didn't look very tight and whether it was mechanical or an extra day off, as Dan McLaughlin suggested, he didn't look as good as he did six days earlier against Los Angeles.
Miller is St. Louis' most electric pitcher, but he hasn't completed six innings since June 12 against the Mets. His strikeout rate remains magnificent, but the degree it's taking him to record 15 outs is on the alarming side. These are probably nothing more than the growing pains of a 22-year-old rookie (Adam Wainwright was in Triple-A when he was 22), but Miller's effectiveness means a lot to the Cardinals.
Matt Adams: 2-4, RBI
Adams collected both hits in his first two at-bats. Both hits were helped by Houston being caught in a shift.
Adams has yet to be slowed down, even with the increased playing time. He's up to .322/.370/.576. Before the season, it seems like the popular opinion was to trade Adams, but could the Cardinals realistically do such a thing? Adams is 24, and while his debut in 2012 wasn't Puig-like, he's been a wrecking machine with the bat.
Jon Jay: 0-4, 1 K
Despite increasing his walk rate, Jay approaches the All-Star break as a punchless, negative contributor. From the time he put himself on the map in 2010, Jay rode sky-high BABIPs to .300 batting averages. This season, his BABIP has fallen all the way to .280, suggesting that despite the 23 percent line drive rate, much of Jay's batting average rested on ground balls sneaking through holes.
Jay's rate of ground balls has fallen to 51 percent.
With one out and the bases loaded last night, Jay looked hapless against the reeling Jordan Lyles, striking out and nearly killing the rally.
His .290 wOBA is nearly identical to the number Shane Robinson attained in part-time duty last season. The Cardinals won't demote Jay any time soon, but Robinson is a better base runner, better fielder and closer to Jay's equal at the plate than ever before.