may is in the books; the cardinals went 12-15, which is (ahem) their best month since last august, when they were 13-15. a few select statistical lines for the month, starting with you know who:
this is pujols' second consecutive month of sub-.500 slugging; prior to this season he had only slugged below .500 for two months in his entire career, july 2001 (his rookie season) and may 2002. the latter month was also the only month in albert's career in which his isolated power was less than .200 --- until this month, when he recorded the lowest monthly ISO of his life. (i'm not counting june 2006, most of which he spent on the disabled list with a strained oblique.) it was still a good month for albert --- he hit the ball consistently hard, and if he keeps it up i think the power numbers will follow.
edmonds slugged over .450 for just the 3d time in his last 10 months of baseball. his 2007 rate stats to date (.245 / .313 / .388) aren't much different from where they stood as of june 1 last season ( .241 / .345 / .379). he's a month further removed from surgery and has regained his ability to drive the ball to right field. two weeks ago he appeared finished as a ballplayer, but over the last half of may he slugged .707. last year, edmonds went .268 / .355 / .537 from june 1 forward; the way he has looked the last two weeks, it's suddenly reasonable to hope that he might produce at a similar level the rest of this year.
as you can see, may has been a good month for eckstein every year since he joined the cardinals. it was his best month since his concussion on june 15 of last season and the ensuing oblique injury in august; now he's battling a sore back, so it's fair to wonder whether may 2007 will be the start of an upswing or just a blip in a continuing downspiral.
he actually had a very good month going through the pittsburgh sweep --- .919 ops, led the team in rbis --- but then went 0 for the washington series and has been laid up with a bad knee since then. that knee is a very serious concern --- he was sent to the hospital for tests, and the quotes from team personnel in this morning's post-dispatch are not encouraging. so just as they're getting edmonds back, they might lose duncan . . . . it figures.
ulp. . . . . . which of these two months do you think will prove to be the more aberrant, when all is said and done? the best we can hope for is that they're both aberrant, and looper's era stabilizes in the low to mid 4s. but lookie here, this may split will make you feel better:
by the time supps' four years in milwaukee are up --- by the time this year is up --- which of those two months will appear to be the aberrant one? ok, back to the cards' own troubles:
look at the vast improvement in the walk rate --- very encouraging. adam's batting average on balls in play remains freakishly high at .379, despite pretty ordinary batted-ball splits --- average line drive rate (18 percent), high groundball rate (48 percent). he's been keeping the ball in the park all season, so as long as he continues to do that and keeps his walks low, wainwright is going to be fine. he posted 3 quality starts in his 5 may outings.
man, but the cardinal pitchers give up lots of baserunners. thompson got sorta lucky last night, retiring 12 of the last 13 men he faced despite a number of well-hit balls. i will say that he looked impressive in working himself out of a 3d-inning jam last night, pitching very intelligently against the top of the rockies' order; once he got a big lead he stripped down the repertoire and just started chucking it in there, which is when the rockies began to hit the ball harder. in other words, the kid pitched to the situation; brainy.
opposing hitters batted .114 against izzy in may, and are at .147 for the year; he hasn't yielded a home run all season. the rockies were absolutely defenseless against him wednesday night. his only blown save came in a game the cardinals went on to win, and occurred on a wind-blown bloop double. where is the love?