Fooling around on the Play Index soon after the Cardinals lost their two-run lead in the 6th inning last night (a lead which they would soon regain and then lose again), I compiled the standings of the NL Central if games ended after the 6th. They are as follows (heading into yesterday’s games):
- STL: 35-29-11
- MIL: 36-31-11
- PIT: 31-36-9
- CHC: 31-36-9
- CIN: 26-39-10
Rob Manfred and a few of the scribes online might be on to something - the games are too long and should end after the 6th. And not a moment later because if we allow games to go seven innings then the Cardinals fall back under .500 (33-34-8). Fair to say the 7th inning has not been fun this year.
Moving on. At the beginning of this month, following a few strong starts from Carlos Martinez, I explained how Carlos Martinez is borrowing from the best of both worlds (strikeouts and groundouts). He was the only qualified starter in the National League with a strikeout rate above 25 percent and a ground ball rate about 50 percent. And since then he’s probably been even better.
After last night’s ten strikeout performance, Martinez’s strikeout rate (28.4 percent) has climbed into the top-5 of the NL and while his ground ball rate has dipped just below the 50 percent mark (49.6) - unless you’re being liberal with the rounding - he’s still near the top of the league. So long as games keep continuing on past the 6th inning, Martinez will still be worth watching every fifth day.
Here’s what you may have missed yesterday at VEB:
- I took a look at the Cardinals’ 1 through 8 lineup spots to see how they were hitting compared to the rest of the league.
- Ben Markham analyzed Paul DeJong’s troubling hitting profile.
- StatCast introduced “Sprint Speed.” Believe it or not, the Cardinals have a few players who can run and Lil Scooter outlined it here.
- Here’s the farm report from Monday.
- And finally, if you were unable to stay up to finish last night’s game, you can at least read the series preview from Craig Edwards.
That’s all. Enjoy your Wednesday.