2010 statistics –St. Louis Cardinals vs. playoff teams

Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Colby Rasmus, Yadier Molina, Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan.  

If you would have asked me going into 2010 if we would have had all of these players for a full year with no major injuries and no significant time missed, I would have expected at least winning the National League Central Division.  The Cardinals have a once in a generation hitter in Pujols, a consistent cleanup hitter in Holliday, and essentially, three aces in Carpenter, Wainwright and Garcia.  We have one of the best young center fielders in the game in Rasmus.  We have the best defensive catcher in baseball in Molina.  We have Tony LaRussa, love him or hate him, his track record speaks for itself.  And to tie it all together, we have Dave Duncan, the “Silent Assassin”. 

The one major difference I found in all of the stats comparing the Cardinals to the other playoff teams was their number of saves and save opportunities.  We ranked dead last in save opportunities and next to last in saves, only ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Cardinals still finished with an 86-76 record, good for second place in the National League Central.  On top of that, we played well against playoff teams, and played very poorly against teams below .500. 

Here are some more stats comparing the Cardinals to the playoff teams this year: 

Team                     Comback Wins  Largest Comback  Walk off Wins  Walk off losses 

Cardinals             29                            4                                            6                              10 

Phillies                 42                            7                                            8                              4 

Reds                     45                             4                                           8                              8 

Braves                  46                             8                                           13                            7 

Giants                   37                             4                                            6                              5 

Yankees               48                             5                                            5                              7 

Rays                      42                             5                                            7                              4 

Twins                    36                             5                                            6                              4 

Rangers                39                             6                                            11                             4 

Considering the Cardinals finished only 5 games out of first place, I would say these stats say a lot.  Now it’s easier to see why the Cardinals had the fewest save opportunities.  You can come up with a lot of reasons why we didn’t come from behind enough, but I think most of them would be because we had too many holes in the lineup.  I think adding another big bat would help, and I think adding some speed at the top of the lineup would also make a big difference.  Let me know what you think.

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