Jun 5, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 8th inning during the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
3. Who steps up to boost an inconsistent offense?
After finishing April with a 15-6 record, four starting position players were hitting above .300 for St. Louis. Heading into All Star break, only injured outfielder Matt Holliday stands above this mark. Offense has become scarce to the extent that the Cardinals’ run-per game totals have decreased each month.
Despite streaky play, St. Louis’s recent lack of offensive production does not necessarily fall on the hinges of one player. The Cardinals have used hot streaks of different players to excel each month, including Matt Carpenter’s .372/.438/.651 stat line in April before fatigue issues. Kolten Wong worked his way up in the Cardinals batting order with a .318 in May, while Jason Heyward prompted a power showcase in June with 4 home runs.
Season-long statistics have demonstrated St. Louis’s need for a bonafide offensive leader, but one constant has been shortstop Jhonny Peralta. The All Star starting shortstop is the only Cardinal with multiple home runs each month, improving in spite of injured outfielder Matt Holliday, who reached base in his first 45 games of the season before a quad injury last month. Essentially, without consistent production of these two leaders, the Cardinals may not have seen as much first half success.