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The Cardinals dominance
by John Hadley
For lose that began to unravel after the Cardinals lost the first two games of a weekend series with the San Francisco Giants, please keep the following in mind regarding the accomplishments of the 2004 Cardinals, as well as manager Tony LaRussa and GM Walt Jocketty...
DOMINANCE: The Cardinals are currently 62-36.
Over the last 25 years, just five NL organizations have managed to field a team that won 62 or more games in the first 98 games of a given season. Atlanta accomplished the feat five times, in 1995, 1997-98 and 2002-23. The New York Mets reached the plateau in 1986, Philadelphia and San Francisco in 1993 and San Diego in 1998.
The Cardinals lead the Chicago Cubs by 10 games after 98 games played.
Over the last 50 years, just 11 NL teams led a division by 10 or more games after completing 98 games. Atlanta (2002, 1998, 1995); Cincinnati (1975, 1970), Los Angeles (1977, 1955), Mets (1986), Philadelphia (1976), Pittsburgh (1971) and San Diego (1998) were the only other teams in the past 50 seasons to lead a division by 10 or more games at the 98-game mark. Note that Atlanta, the Mets and San Diego are the only teams to accomplish the feat in the last 25 years.
MAKE SURE TO TUNE INTO THE BIG 550 (KTRS) ON TUESDAY WHEN SCOTT MELLANBY JOINS US IN STUDIO WITH AN A-LIST OF GUESTS GIVING "MELLS" A SENDOFF. THAT IS TUESDAY DURING THE BIG SPORTS SHOW ON KTRS (THE BIG 550) FROM 6:30-9:00 P.M.
MARGIN CALL: The St. Louis Cardinals have outscored opponents by 118 runs this season, the best mark in MLB this season.
The Cardinals are on pace to outscored opponents by 195 runs this season. Look at the run-differential for the Cardinals World Series participants over the last 50 years:
1987 Cardinals: +105 runs
1985 Cardinals: +175 runs
1982 Cardinals: +76 runs
1968 Cardinals: +111 runs
1967 Cardinals: +138 runs
1964 Cardinals: +63 runs
Keep in mind the Cardinals are on pace this season to outscore the opposition by 195 runs.
For a historical perspective amplifying the meaning of this projection, here is a rundown of the 11 teams that have won the World Series having registered 100-win season(s) since 1964:
1998 N.Y. Yankees (114 wins): +309
1970 Baltimore (108): +218
1975 Cincinnati (108): +254
1986 N.Y. Mets (108): +215
1984 Detroit (104): +186
1968 Detroit (103): +179
1976 Cincinnati (102): +224
1967 St. Louis (101): +138
1969 N.Y. Mets (100): +91
1978 N.Y. Yankees (100): +153
1977 N.Y. Yankees (100): +180
The aforementioned 11 World Series champions, since 1964, that won 100 or more games, combined for an average run-differential of 195.2 runs. The 2004 Cardinals are on pace for a run-differential of 195.1 runs.
Need more you say? The Cardinals lead major league baseball with 62 wins, and with a plus-118 run-differential. The New York Yankees (61) and Los Angeles (57) are second and third in wins this season. The Yankees have outscored foes by 63 runs, the Dodgers are a plus-55... combined the Yankees and Dodgers are a plus-118... or the same total registered by the Cardinals.
NOT ENOUGH?: Still not accepting that this team is playing phenomenal baseball?
Consider that since play of May 9, the Cardinals are 47-20 (.701). The Cardinals 47 wins since May 9 is equal or more than 11 teams in MLB have registered all season... and just five fewer than the Cubs have earned the entire season.
Consider that since play of May 27, the Cardinals are 39-14 (.736). Over the course of a full-season, that winning percentage would equate into 119 wins.
JOCKETTY/LARUSSA: The Cardinals have virtually guaranteed a winning season.
That noted, it would mark the Cardinals fifth straight winning season. The Red Birds last recorded five straight winning seasons in 1960-64. That was also the last time the Cardinals opened a decade with five straight winning seasons.
The Cardinals are on pace (with ample leeway) to post a franchise best five-year winning percentage since 1942-46.
The Cardinals are on pace to post a fourth 90-win season under manager Tony LaRussa.
The last manager to match that mark was Billy Southworth (five times, 1941-45).
The Cardinals are on the verge of finishing first in their division for the fifth time in nine seasons (all under the Jocketty/LaRussa tandem), the last time the franchise enjoyed similar success was between 1926-34.
THE CUBS: If the Cardinals play .500 the remainder of the season, the Red Birds would complete the regular season with a 94-68 record.
The Cubs would have play at a .672-clip to top the Cardinals (assuming they play .500 the rest of the season). The Cubs remaining-schedule is split with 32 games at home and 32 games on the road. Considering the Cubs are 67-63 (.515) on the road dating back to last season... they would have play flawless baseball at Wrigley or significantly heighten their play on the road... simply stated... ain't gonna happen.
MATT MORRIS: He made a major statement with yesterday's performance.
My sources told me he was recently told by management that he will remain a member of the Cardinals the rest of this season... that vote of confidence was rewarded with a fabulous performance yesterday.
Despite a disappointing outing against the Cubs... this month he beat Cincinnati twice and halted a frustrating team-streak against the Giants. Last month, he had key wins against the Cubs, Houston and Oakland.
Most importantly, he hasn't allowed a home run in four of his last five outings.
"The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." H.L. Mencken
RE:The Cardinals dominance
I like the Cardinals which is rare because I usually only like hometown teams.. but they dont have the pitching to win it all. Ask Cleveland how many titles they won in the 90's when they were winning 100 games a year with the best offense in baseball. playoffs are a different sotry and bats get shut down.
Love Renteria, I hope Cleveland can steal him in the offseason