Power Leads to Cardinals First Sweep

By Craig Phelps

Go into your closet, kids, and break out your mother’s favorite broom because finally, ladies and gentlemen, the Cardinals have finished off a sweep.

St. Louis victimized the Arizona Diamondbacks in all three games of the series as they outscored the desert rats 22-9.  It is almost a mystical wonder that the Red Birds, who hold have scored more runs than any other Major League ball club with 174 runs crossing the plate, had yet to sweep a team.

St. Louis, who is now on their second, four-game win streak of the year, had previously won the first two games of a series on four different occasions without ever securing that ever elusive third game.  These near sweeps came twice against the Reds (April 9-11, April 17-19), once against the Brewers (April 27-29), and once against the Pirates (May 1-3).  Of these four series, the Cardinals outscored opponents by 39 runs, or an average of 3.25 runs per game; St. Louis scored 76 runs while the opposition crossed the plate just 37 times.

Including Wednesday’s sweep of the Diamondbacks, the Cardinals have now been victorious in a total of nine out of elven series, including a one game series against the Miami Marlins to open up the year.  The Cardinals pitchers have held opponents to just 86 runs in these games while the Red Birds batters have drilled home 151; that’s a ratio of 1.76 Cardinals runs scored for every single tally marked down by the opposition.

St. Louis is, quite simply, one of the best power hitting line-up’s in the Major Leagues.  They are currently tied for fourth in homeruns (40), tenth in doubles (54), and second in triples (11).  The Cardinals are also the proud sole owners of second place in the slugging percentage category at .467 percent.

The Cardinals have hit eleven homeruns in the past four games, including a five long bomb performance by five different players on Monday against Arizona.  Tyler Greene and Carlos Beltran have both recorded multi-homerun games within this time span including the grand slamai by Beltran in the second inning of Tuesday’s game.  Beltran is joined by Allen Craig in the team lead with three homeruns over the past four games while Greene is second with those two homeruns on Sunday and Holliday, Furcal, and Freese all joined in on the long bomb parade on Monday.

Only one Cardinal’s starter is tied with Albert Pujols’s one homerun on the season and that is Matt Carpenter.  St. Louisans may recall that single Carpenter screecher well as it was part of a one homerun, five RBI, double-short-of-a-cycle performance by the 26 year old Galveston, Texas native.

The Cardinals will try to keep their big bats rocking against the Atlanta Braves in a three game series at Busch Stadium from Friday, May 11th through Sunday, May 13th on Fox Sports Midwest and 1120 KMOX.



Lance Berkman – Lance Berkman is expected to be in the line-up against the Braves on Friday.  This means somebody will have to acquire a ride back down to Memphis to make room for the first baseman.  Despite hitting .318 and scoring six runs with five RBI’s in 44 at-bats, Shane Robinson is the most limited player on the team in terms of being able to fill in at various positions.

Yadier Molina – Molina only faced bruising after a Mitchell Boggs fastball hit his wrist.  While he was not part of the Wednesday night’s lineup against the Diamondbacks, he is probable for a return on Friday.

Albert Pujols – The real story behind the Angels 6-2 victory over the Twins on Wednesday night came during the post-game team high-fives.  Erick Aybar playfully slapped the elbow of Pujols who responded with a scowl and a thrown glove at the back of Aybar.  The video is available here via Major League Baseball who describes the incident as the two “goofing off” after the game.

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