Monday, October 17, 2011
Offensive surge gives Cardinals NL pennantPosted by Shlomo Sprung
The St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series for the third time in eight years after an offensive explosion propelled the Redbirds to a six-game series win over heated rival Milwaukee. St. Louis scored 43 runs over the six games, including a dozen in a 12-6 win on Sunday night.
The Cardinals offense improved its overall numbers from the regular season and currently top the eight postseason teams in batting average and are second in on-base percentage and slugging.
AB Slash Line HR XBH Cards Reg. Season 5532 .273/.321/.425 162 502 Cards Postseason 386 .288/.345/.448 10 39
Rafael Furcal's solo home run in Game Six gave the veteran shortstop nine home runs since the start of the regular season, and six of those have come against Milwaukee. But the real story in the playoffs for Tony La Russa's squad is the emergence of David Freese as a frightening presence in the lineup.
Freese hit a home run every 36.3 plate appearances in the regular season, and that number is down to 10.75 in the playoffs. He's averaging an extra-base hit every 4.77 plate appearances, about once per game, down from once every 13.44 regular season PA. The staggering numbers do not stop there:
PA Slash Line HR XBH Freese Reg. Season 363 .297/.350/.441 10 27 Freese Postseason 43 .425/.465/.850 4 9
Freese probably would not be able to duplicate those numbers on his favorite game console, and his surge of offensive proficiency and prowess is a major reason why the Cardinals are the NL's surprise World Series entrant.