Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

2013 ESPN weekly power rankings comments

Running commentary submitted for ESPN’s weekly power rankings

Week As of Monday Comment Rank
1 Apr 2 The Cardinals finished spring training a bit bruised, with Jason Motte and David Freese on the disabled list, but they’re ready to begin the season with a deep lineup and pitching staff set to improve on last year’s team strikeout record. 12
2 Apr 9 After a stuttering first four games of the season, the Cardinals finished Week 1 outscoring their opponents 37-24. 14
3 Apr 17 Fronted by Adam Wainwright (2.05 ERA, 0.85 fielding-independent pitching), Cardinals starting pitchers have the best ERA in baseball. 5
4 Apr 23 Carlos Beltran heated up (three home runs/.400 OBP/.792 SLG for the week), but the Cardinals slipped out of first place as they split a four-game series with the Phillies. 9
5 Apr 29 The Cardinals’ rotation continues to be their strength, as they lead the National League in fielding independent pitching at 2.78, but their bullpen has been leaky (worst in league with a 4.46 FIP). 4
6 May 6 Cardinals began week 0.5 games back but, after bullpen refresh, win six straight to finish 2.5 games ahead. 3
7 May 13 Matt Adams returned from the disabled list, Shelby Miller pitched one of the best games in team history and the pitching staff continues to be tops in the National League with a 3.11 FIP and a 3.39 xFIP. 1
8 May 20 Rookie John Gast filled in admirably for the injured Jake Westbrook as the Cardinals continue to roll, but Jaime Garcia landing on DL poses another hurdle. 2
9 May 27 Rookie pitchers are continuing to pitch in, and the Cardinals continue to roll. 2
10 Jun 3 Injuries finally forced the Cardinals to promote pitching prospect Michael Wacha, and he didn’t disappoint in his debut. Starting pitching continues to be the team’s strength, but now the offense is also hitting its stride, leading the NL in runs per game at 4.8. 1
11 Jun 10 The Cardinals took two of three from the rival Reds, winning the rubber game with a seven-run outburst in the 10th inning on Sunday. Cardinals pitchers lead the National League in K/BB ratio (3.31), and batters lead in OBP (.338). 1
12 Jun 17 Adam Wainwright continues to dominate. He leads all pitchers in WAR (4.0) and has an insane 10.78 K/BB ratio. 1
13 Jun 24 Cardinals take three of four from Cubs, but Rangers bring the brooms to Busch; despite tying their longest losing streak of the year, St. Louis stays atop Central. 1
14 Jul 1 The Cardinals have hit a rough stretch as they’re 2-6 over their past eight games. They now find themselves looking up at the Pirates in the NL Central standings. 2
15 Jul 8 The Cardinals silenced Albert Pujols (1-for-11 with a walk in three games) in the first meeting since the team’s erstwhile first baseman left to sign with the Angels. St. Louis then swept Miami to move into a first-place tie with the Pirates in the NL Central. 3
16 Jul 15 The first-place Cardinals closed out the first half of the season on a figurative and literal bang with Yadier Molina’s game-breaking three-run homer in the ninth inning against the Cubs Sunday night. 1
17 Jul 22 Matt Holliday landed on the DL as 29-year-old rookie Brock Peterson debuted and received a standing ovation. The Cardinals took two of three from the Padres to begin the second half. 1
18 Jul 29 The Cardinals lost three straight to the Braves, but welcomed Matt Holliday back from the DL. The pitching staff still boasts an MLB-best 3.23 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). 1
19 Aug 5 The Cardinals salvaged a series win over the Reds over the weekend after losing seven straight games, including four in a row to the NL Central-leading Pirates. Yadier Molina is also on the disabled list. 5
20 Aug 12 The Cardinals ended a brutal week with a win over the Cubs, but have entered the dog days of summer waiting for Yadier Molina to return from the disabled list. 8
21 Aug 19 Yadier Molina returns from DL, prospect Kolten Wong is called up, and the Cardinals win key series over the Pirates and Cubs. 7
22 Aug 26 Shelby Miller outdueled Julio Teheran on Saturday to help the Cardinals win three of four and exact some revenge on the Braves. St. Louis also regained a share of the lead in the NL Central. 4
23 Sep 2 The Cardinals added John Axford for the stretch drive as they finished this past week where they were seven days ago: tied with the Pirates for first place. 7
24 Sep 9 Michael Wacha rises to the rotation, Adam Wainwright returns to form and the Cardinals return to first place. 5
25 Sep 16 Shelby Miller and Matt Adams came through with big performances as the Cardinals cling to a first-place tie with the Pirates in the National League Central. 6
26 Sep 23 The Cardinals grabbed a ticket for the postseason lottery and look to lock up a first-round bye with their magic number for clinching the NL Central at five with six games left. 6