GAME TIME 1:15 CDTerik's got some family duties this morning, so i'm tossing a quick post up; hope everyone is having a safe and fun holiday weekend.
notes on today's starting pitchers: the washington hurler, matt chico, is a flyball pitcher, so it's no surprise that his era is 2 runs better at home, in his capacious home ballpark, than on the road --- he has a 6.31 era away from rfk stadium. wagonmaker has the opposite split: 4.88 era at home, vs 7.48 on the road. another point about wags: his batting average on balls in play this season is .388, the highest figure in the league and nearly 100 points above the league average. that's way out of line with his batted-ball data: he's allowing line drives at about an average rate (18.3 percent), and his groundball percentage is quite high (50 percent). if we apply standard hit rates to adam's batted-ball distribution, he ought to have about 53 hits allowed, or 18 fewer than his actual total:
those rates come from an old Hardball Times analysis. note that wainwright has only allowed 3 homers all season --- two of them on a windy day at wrigley --- which suggests that he's hardly defenseless out there; batters aren't just teeing off on him. on the other hand, he has yielded 16 doubles, which is a pretty high rate. wagon's strikeout rate, while not great (5.8 per 9 innings), is certainly more than acceptable. i think as long as wainwright continues to keep the ball in the park, he's going to be okay --- hitters simply are not going to sustain a .388 BABIP against him for a full season.
the cardinals still have an outside chance to post a winning record for the month of may; they're currently 10-12, with 5 to play. if they win 4 of the remaining games, they'll finish the month at 14-13 --- which in my opinion would be an noteworthy feat, insofar as the month essentially began with the death of a player. it also would be the cards' first winning month since august 2006, and only their second winning month in the last 6 of regular-season play. i don't think it's particularly likely, because to pull this off they'll have to win the series out here in my town, vs the rockies --- and the rocks are suddenly playing well, having won 4 in a row. it might just be that they've had one good cycle through the rotation --- colorado has allowed only 5 runs during the win streak --- but the rockies generally play well at home, and the cardinals generally don't play their best out here. still, it's within reach and a worthy goal to shoot for. i won't be at tomorrow's game, but i'll likely be at the last 3 games of the denver set.
the cardinals have risen to 8th in the league in batting average, but they remain 15th in the league in slugging --- no shock, since they're 15th in doubles and 16th in triples and homers. last night, case in point --- 10 singles and a double. although they're hitting .325 over the last 11 games, they only have 9 homers over that span, which isn't sufficient; at some point they're bound to stop hitting .325, at which point they may find themselves hurting for runs again. the cardinals are on pace to hit fewer than 100 homers --- something that last happened in 1992, the second year of the joe torre managerial regime. and since the cardinals lead the league with 208 stolen bases that year and finished 3d in on-base percentage, the formula worked --- they finished in the middle of the pack in runs scored.
start hitting some more homers, guys.
P.S.: todd wellemeyer watch --- 14 pitches last night, 11 strikes.