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HRABE: Cards Pitching Trends (And Monday Night Drama)

By Chris Hrabe
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Some thoughts and numbers on the Cardinals pitching in just a moment, but first, a few words about the drama that unfolded in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals in Boston tonight between the Bruins and the Blackhawks…

What a finish to the Stanley Cup Finals. Some of the most dramatic television I have been treated to in a long time unfolded over the past week between the Blackhawks and the Bruins.

The world of sports is truly the final frontier in terms of live drama. You can’t DVR events like you can TV shows and tune in at your leisure. To get the full experience, you need to be locked into the moment. I think everyone felt the stress of Game Six on Monday night. Doc Emrick had the great line on the NBA broadcast that it probably was much fun for hockey fans, but not as much for Blackhawks and Bruins fans.

The game (and series) was at times an excruciating exercise in stress management and almost unfathomable excitement, and I loved every minute of it. The downside? We have to wait a few months to start it all over. But that’s a price I am willing to pay.

And without further ado, some Cardinals talk.

At the beginning of the baseball season, I preached tempered expectations in terms of the incredible start from the Cardinals pitching staff. It made sense that while the start was great, at some point every team regresses to the mean. The trends were fantastic, but would they continue?

It turns out they have. Courtesy of Fangraphs, here are some of the numbers for the Cardinals over the first 4 months of the season, and how they compare to the rest of the National League.

FIP

  • March/April: 3.21, 1st in NL
  • May: 3.06, 1st in NL
  • June: 3.15, 1st in NL

WAR

  • March/April: 3.6, T-1st in NL
  • May: 4.5, 2nd in NL
  • June: 3.0, 3rd in NL

K/9IP

  • March/April: 8.3, 3rd in NL
  • May: 7.69, 5th in NL
  • June: 7.97, 6th in NL

BB/9IP

  • March/April: 2.84, 5th in NL
  • May: 2.20, 2nd in NL
  • June: 2.20, 2nd in NL

HR/9IP

  • March/April: 0.65, 1st in NL
  • May: 0.56, 1st in NL
  • June: 0.69, 2nd in NL

HR/FB Rate

  • March/April: 8.9%, 3rd in NL
  • May: 7.0%, 2nd in NL
  • June: 7.9%, 2nd in NL

I can’t say I was surprised with the consistency by the Cardinals pitching over the last few months, but I was a bit surprised by how consistently elite the numbers have remained.

Again, I expected a lot more regression to the mean, and it still may come. But the numbers are a big reason why the Cardinals are in the position they are in a few weeks before the All Star break.

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