They’re not always pretty, but damn if they don’t get the job done.
One a night that went back and forth more than a girl trying to decide her outfit for the night, the Cardinals managed to crank out 21 hits en route to a 10-6 win over the Cubs. With the win, the Cardinals clinched the best record in baseball going into the All-Star break at 57-36. After that late June swoon (hey, I rhymed), the Cardinals managed to bounce back and win eight of their last 11 games.
With the win, the Cardinals go into the break with…
– four hitters in the top ten in the NL in average: Yadier Molina (1st, .341), Allen Craig (2nd, .333), Matt Carpenter (6th, .321), Carlos Beltran (.309)
– five hitters in the top 30 in RBI: Craig (2nd, 74), Beltran (13th, 53), Molina (18th, 49), Matt Holliday (24th, 47), Carpenter (26th, 45)
– four hitters who rank 8th through 11th in OPS: Carpenter (.891), Beltran (.879), Molina (.875), Craig (.872)
– the most runs scored in the NL, fourth overall in MLB (462)
– the highest team batting average in the NL, third overall (.276)
– the highest team on-base percentage in the NL, third overall (.337)
– the highest team on-base plus slugging in the NL, fifth overall (.753)
– the best average when hitting with runners in scoring position (.337)
– the best average when hitting with runners in scoring position and two outs (.328)
– the third-best staff ERA (3.39)
– the second-best fielding percentage in the NL, sixth overall (.988)
As a result, the Cardinals sent six players to CitiField to represent them at the All-Star Game after Edward Mujica was named a replacement for Adam Wainwright, who pitched yesterday. This ties the team’s modern-era record for most representatives at the All-Star game (the team sent eight to the 1943 All-Star game, but there were only eight teams in the National League, so it was a bit easier to have multiple representatives).
So yeah. Enjoy the festivities this week. The Home Run Derby kicks off tonight at 7:00, and the game begins tomorrow evening at 7:00 CT as well.
Fun Notes and Anecdotes
– Something you may have never realized: the day before and after the MLB All-Star game are the only two days in the year there are no games scheduled for the four major professional sports in America (if you count Major League Soccer, then this would leave Monday as the only day without a professional sports contest, as there are MLS games on Wednesday).
– From 1959 until 1962 there were actually two All-Star games each summer.
– Cardinals legend Stan Musial still owns or shares several All-Star records, including most games played for the National League (24), extra base hits (8), home runs (6), and total bases (40).