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Rafael Furcal is scorching hot for the Cardinals

May 14, 2012, 6:37 PM EDT

Rafael Furcal Getty Images

St. Louis got swept by at home by the Braves over the weekend, but it certainly wasn’t the shortstop’s fault. Rafael Furcal went 7-for-11 with two walks against his original team and is a ridiculous 15-for-21 over his last five games.

The stretch has him batting .383/.447/.519 for the season. Baseball-reference’s WAR rates him the game’s second most valuable offensive player so far behind Josh Hamilton and ahead of Matt Kemp.

All of this comes from a guy who looked pretty much done last October. He followed up a weak .231/.298/.348 regular season by hitting .195/.244/.325 in 18 games during the postseason. He also struggled so much this spring that the Cardinals started hitting him at the bottom of the order in the second half of March to see if anyone else could step up and claim the leadoff spot.

No one did, of course, and now Furcal has been a terror through one-fifth of the regular season.  He’s walked more than he’s struck out (15-14), and he’s seven for eight stealing bases, putting him on pace for his best season in that department since 2006.  With another big game tonight, he’d become the first player this season to have multiple hits in six straight contests.

  1. sictransitchris - May 14, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I love Rafi.

  2. aw2857 - May 14, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Oh sure!! NOW Furcal decides to play. All those years in LA waiting for him to live up to his hype/promise. A series of major injuries (back, wrist,) and subpar leadoff hitter numbers combined to insure his years on the Coast were unremarkable. I will give it to him defensively….always came up with the spectacular and had a gun his early years in Blue. Leaves LA mid-season and sputters his way to a WS ring….go figure!!! With an average Cardinals team, no less…ohhhhh, the inhumanity!!!! Unnerving!!

  3. isujames - May 14, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    ^ So what does that make the rest of the league???Oh I get it you just lack attention.

  4. natstowngreg - May 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Now you’ve done it. Furcal will tweak something and miss a month.

  5. okwhitefalcon - May 15, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Furcal has been great so far no doubt about it – maybe an overpay at the time but looking like a bargain now.

    A few issues (as they always do) have definitely arisen..

    The Cards starters are coming back to earth and exposing a very short bullpen to entirely too many innings.

    I’ve got a feeling this short west coast swing could get ugly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Reds aptop the division on or before next Monday.

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