The year was 2012. The Cardinals were just coming off an incredible World Series run and the loss of Albert Pujols to Los Angeles via free agency. Despite losing their once-in-a-generation player, the team still had much of the same core returning, plus the new addition of Carlos Beltran. That core, including David Freese, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, and Yadier Molina, along with Beltran clubbed 123 of the team's 159 home runs. The 2012 team scored 765 runs for fifth in all of baseball with an 106 wRC+, which tied for third. This team's run total reached double digits sixteen times. This team was also shutout eleven times. It was incredibly frustrating to see a team demonstrate such potent offensive capabilities and suddenly, seemingly without logic or reason, turn into a pumpkin, prompting Bernie Miklaz, then of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, to write the following:
If you look at the National League leaders in the most important offensive categories, the Cardinals are at the top or near it. Well, I don't care what the NL rankings claim; they're lying. This offense is fraudulent. It can bully teams for a one-night torrent of runs, only to disappear in most close games.
And thus was genesis of the "fraudulent offense".
Watching this offense now, putting up tens runs and hitting five homers just a day before getting shutout by someone named Aaron Nola, I cannot help but recall that term. And while Bernie has refrained from calling them fraudulent yet again, he has brought up the Cardinals feast or famine tendencies (or as he prefers, power or pestilence):
The most extreme offense in MLB is your St. Louis Cardinals: And yes, this is actually a fact. Well, and also an opinion. But it's based on facts.
Here's why I make this claim:
- The team with the most games of scoring 10+ runs in the majors this season: St. Louis, 7 times.
- The team with the most games of scoring at least 7 runs: St. Louis, 13 times.
- The team that has the most games of being held to one run or no runs: St. Louis, 9 times.
The Cardinals have scored only 1 run on six occasions and have been shut out in three games.
Let's go to the cliche: feast or famine, yeah ... though I prefer "power or pestilence." But man, does this lineup have wild fluctuations. It's ridiculous. It would be helpful to establish some consistency.
While the dinger parties are fun, it would be nice for the offense to be more consistent. Baseball, like life, however, is often unpredictable and uncontrollable. Maybe we just need to enjoy the extreme highs in preparation for the lows.
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what the cardinals are up to...
- Cardinals hit five home runs in win | cardinals.com
- Yadier Molina did push-ups during an at-bat and hit a single | SBNation.com
- Goold: Can Cardinals reach October by feasting on rebuilding teams? | Derrick Goold: Bird Land | stltoday.com
- Redbirds Reverb: Cardinals Have Most Extreme Offense in Majors | 101Sports.com
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