The recent article highlighting the improvements of the lineup top to bottom made me start wondering about how the pitching side of the equation has changed over the course of the season.
Fun Data Point #1: Pitcher ERA in the 2nd Half is 3.70 compared to 4.27 in the 1st half.
Fun Data Point #2: Cards' pitchers gave up a .232 BAA in the 1st half compared to .237 in the 2nd half.
Fun Data Point #3: Cards' pitchers gave up a walk per batter faced at a rate of .115 in the 1st half compared to .078 in the 2nd half.
Fun Data Point #4: Cards' pitchers hit 64 batters in the 1st half of the season and 18 in the 2nd half (Cards' pitchers were near the league lead in HBP in 1st half while in the 2nd half have hit the least number of opposing batters)
Based on Rates from 1st half to 2nd half and applying to each half:
If the 1st half had 2nd half rates applied to it, the Cardinals would have allowed 987 baserunners compared to the actual number of 1135, for a net difference of -148! This would have resulted in a reduction of 1.64 baserunners per game!
If the 2nd half had the 1st half rates applied to it, the Cardinals would have allowed 732 baserunners compared to the actual 640, for a net difference of +92! This would have resulted in an additional 1.59 baserunners per game!
Overall Conclusion: All this did was increase my own personal frustration when pitchers walk batters instead of just throwing strikes.
What are your thoughts on this team? Are the 2021 Cardinals an 86.5 win team (based on overall season results through 9/19), a 79.2 win team (based on 1st half results), or a 97.7 win team (based on 2nd half results)?