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Cardinals news and notes: Rosenthal, base running, Wacha

The Cardinals’ evenly distributed home runs (plus, yesterday at VEB)

Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Yesterday at Baseball Prospectus, Rob Mains wrote about the increase in home runs last season and how it was more equally distributed across the league in unprecedented fashion. From the column:

Last year there were a record number of homers. And, as noted, eight players hit 40 or more. But that’s nowhere near the record. There were 17 players with 40 or more homers in 1996, 16 in 2000, 13 in 1998 and 1999, 12 in 1997 and 2001 ... you get the idea. Eight players with 40 or more home runs is tied for only 12th-most all time.

But last year there were 30 batters with 30-39 home runs. Only 1999, with 32, and 2000, with 31, had more. And players with 20-29 homers? There were 73 of them in 2016, crushing the old record of 64 set in 2008.

See the pattern? We got a record number of home runs last year, not by a few players hitting a ton of them, but from many, many players getting 20 or more. There were 111 players with 20 or more home runs in 2016. That’s what made the record—a lot of players getting a decent number of home runs, not a Ruth and a Gehrig vastly outperforming their peers.

The 2016 Cardinals might have been the poster children. They hit the second most home runs (225) in team history after the 2000 squad (235), but for the first time had six players hit more than 20 home runs. And eight Cardinals hit at least 15. With an offense that hit it’s stride a few weeks ago - they’re averaging almost six runs a game since April 20 - we’ll see if this trend continues. And read Mains’s column. It’s very good.

Here’s what you may have missed yesterday at VEB:

That should do it. Have a great weekend, everyone.