Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

2014 ESPN weekly power rankings comments

Date Rank Record Trending Comments
Mar 31 1

Last Week: NR

The Cardinals are ready and eager to defend their National League pennant as super sophomore whiff kids Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha follow in staff ace Adam Wainwright‘s footsteps.
 Apr 7  3 3-3 -2
Last Week: 1
 The Cardinals have yet to find a rhythm on the mound (1.90 K/BB is 14th in the NL) and groove at the plate (.281 OBP is 11th), but they’ve managed a 3-3 start against division foes Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
 Apr 14  5  7-5 -2
Last Week: 3
 The Cardinals went 4-2 on their season-opening homestand behind new stars Michael Wacha, Matt Adams and Kolten Wong, even as closer Trevor Rosenthal works out the kinks.
 Apr 21  2  11-8 +3
Last Week: 5
 The Cardinals won a series against the division-leading Brewers but managed only a split against the Nationals due in part to shabby fielding. The Cardinals’ offense, ranked 12th in NL with .302 wOBA, has yet to fully blossom.
 Apr 28  8  14-12 -6
Last Week: 2
 The Cardinals’ offense continues to sputter, averaging fewer than two runs per game for the week until erupting for seven on Sunday against the Pirates to win the series as Adam Wainwright bounced back from a knee-injury scare.
 May 5  13 16-16 -5
Last Week:8
 Little has gone according to plan for the Cardinals so far, with their starting pitchers walking a league-high 3.28 batters per nine innings, and the team demoting promising rookie second baseman Kolten Wong to Memphis and narrowly avoiding a sweep by the Cubs to remain at .500 on the young season.
 May 12  14  19-19 -1
Last Week: 13
The Cardinals narrowly avoided getting swept by the Pirates to return to .500 (19-19), which belies the fifth-best Pythagorean record in the NL (21-17). The club hasn’t lost more than two games in a row this season, but also hasn’t won more than four straight.
May 19  5  23-21 +9
Last Week: 14
 The Cardinals won four in a row last week as Shelby Miller appears to have straightened himself out. The bad news is that reliever Trevor Rosenthal, who walked in the tying run Sunday, still hasn’t.
May 26 5  28-22
Last Week: 5
 Jaime Garcia returned to the rotation to help the Cardinals go 5-1 last week and pull within 1.5 games of the Brewers.
Jun 2  7  30-27 -2
Last Week: 5
 Top prospect Oscar Taveras walloped a home run in his major league debut, but it was one of the few highlights of the week. The Cardinals lost five of seven to open their homestand and lost first baseman Matt Adams to the DL.
 Jun 9  13  33-31 -6
Last Week: 7
 The Cardinals rediscovered confidence by taking two of three from the AL East-leading Blue Jays in Toronto on the strength of shutouts from starters Shelby Miller and Jaime Garcia.
 Jun 16  8  37-32 +5
Last Week: 13
Matt Adams hit a home run in each of his first three games back after coming off the disabled list, and Cardinals pitchers (and defense) conspired to throw their MLB-leading 14th team shutout.
 Jun 23  6  41-35 +2
Last Week: 8
The Cardinals lost key hurlers Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia to the disabled list and will ask flamethrowing reliever Carlos Martinez to step into the rotation.
 June 30  8  44-39 -2
Last Week: 6
 The Cardinals dropped into a second-place tie in the National League Central after getting caught in the Clayton Kershaw buzzsaw. The Cards are also still seeking long-term help in their rotation after losing Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia.
 Jul 7 11  47-42 -3
Last Week: 8
 Second baseman Kolten Wong returned from the DL, but he wasn’t enough to help the Cardinals avoid losing a series at home to the Marlins. Will GM John Mozeliak pull the trigger on a deal for a pitcher?
 Jul 14  5  52-44 +6 Last Week: 11  The Cardinals suffered their biggest blow yet when Yadier Molina tore ligaments in his right thumb. He’s expected to miss 8-12 weeks. The Cardinals rallied, however, and momentarily pulled even with the Brewers for first place in the NL Central and now head into break one game back.
 Jul 21  6  54-45 -1
Last Week: 5
 In his second game back from the DL, Joe Kelly helped the Cardinals return from the break to take two of three from the Dodgers and climb into a first-place tie with the Brewers.
Jul 28 10  56-48 -4
Last Week: 6
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski arrived in time to help the Cardinals take two of three from the Cubs and — at least for the time being — endear himself to his new teammates.
 Aug 4  11  59-51 -1
Last Week: 10
 Newcomers John Lackey, Justin Masterson and A.J. Pierzynski helped the Cardinals take two of three from the Brewers and pull within one game of the NL Central lead; the team will face Boston and recently traded Allen Craig and Joe Kelly this week.
 Aug 11  11  62-54
Last Week: 11
 The Cardinals avenged their World Series loss by taking two of three from Boston, but the Orioles lit up newcomers Justin Masterson and John Lackey as the Cardinals failed to gain ground on the Brewers. Meanwhile, Kolten Wong (1.4 WAR) continues a quiet campaign for NL Rookie of the Year.
 Aug 18  10  66-57 +1
Last Week: 11
 The Cardinals survived a rough start to last week by taking three of four from the Padres; the team is feeling the loss of Yadier Molina and will continue to as they host Billy Hamilton‘s Reds to begin this week.
Aug 25 9 70-59 +1
Last Week: 10
First place continues to be asymptotic for the Cardinals, who drew within a half-game of the Brewers with a sweep of the Reds but then finished the week 1½ games out after losing the rubber match to the Phillies on Sunday.
 Sep 1  12 73-63 -3
Last Week: 9
 Matt Holliday put the Cardinals on his back with three home runs and nine RBIs in the final two games of their series against the Cubs. The Cards are now in a first-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central.
 Sep 8  7  79-64 +5
Last Week: 12
 After taking over the top spot in the NL Central a week ago, the Cardinals went for the knockout of their nearest competition, sweeping three games from the Pirates and beating the Brewers in three of four to open a 4½-game lead in the division.
Sep 15 6  83-67 +1
Last Week: 7
 The Cardinals won three games from the Rockies over the weekend and reduced their magic number to 10. Matt Holliday is now up to a season-high .456 slugging percentage. Meanwhile, health questions about rotation horses Michael Wacha and John Lackey have surfaced.
Sep 22 5 87-69 +1
Last Week: 6
The Cardinals clinched a playoff berth after eradicating the Brewers and Reds. But the flu bug has bitten multiple players, including lineup stalwarts Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams, as the club heads into the final week of play looking to clinch the NL Central.
 Sep 29  6  90-72 -1
Last Week: 5
On the final day of the regular season, the Cardinals clinched their second straight NL Central title (and their fourth straight playoff berth). They head into the NLDS against the Dodgers as healthy as they’ve been all year.