St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Carpenter is ready to get salsa hot
It was THE running gag for a St. Louis Cardinals team that made a strong run in the later part of the 2018 season. Every big hit led to the same gesture – one hand is the bowl, one hand is the spoon, scoop it in your mouth.
And what were the St. Louis Cardinals players saying about their sudden turn of fortune and good play?
“It must be the salsa.”
Cardinals Third Baseman Matt Carpenter was the source of last year’s salsa sensation telling Fox Sports in August that he “easily puts down one mason jar of salsa a day.” Carpenter also deserves a lot of credit for the team’s 40-28 record after the All-Star break that included a 22-6 run in August.
Carpenter hit 20 homers and tallied 38 RBI’s in the months of July and August during the 2018 season. It was a strong second-half run that created some MVP buzz for the veteran infielder and nearly propelled the Redbirds into the playoffs.
So even though the team is off to a strong start to the 2019 season, there are some grumblings in Cardinals Nation about the production (or lack thereof) from the team’s resident salsa connoisseur.
|162 Game Avg.||162||686||579||103||157||41||4||21||76||3||3||92||132||.272||.375||.466||.840||128||270||5||7||2||6||6|
While Carpenter is clearly frustrated with his lack of plate production, he knows the game is all about making adjustments.
"“You’ve got to evolve,” Carpenter told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “I think that’s been one of the big reasons why, historically, I’ve been a slow starter that first month. I’ve just been building a database of what teams are doing against me. Then you make adjustments and go three, four months of good baseball."
Before fans dismiss the gritty veteran’s comments as mere “ball talk” consider his career numbers by month.
For whatever reason, when the weather heats up so does Carpenter’s bat. He is a much better hitter in nearly every measurable way during the months of May, June, July and August.
While it might seem like an oversimplification to attribute his performance to the weather, Carpenter has historically not been as good a hitter in the later part of the season as well. And that trend might be more of a concern for the St. Louis Cardinals if the team is going to make the late season run everyone is counting on.
As we enter the beginning of May, Cardinal Nation should stock up on that spicy salsa. If past performance is any indication, Matt Carpenter is about to heat up so don’t worry about what that stat line looks like right now.