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Overaggressive Cardinals come up empty in Game 5 loss

Oct 19, 2012, 11:34 PM EDT

Matt Holliday Reuters

In getting shut out by the Giants on Friday, the Cardinals never worked a walk against Barry Zito and company. Their one free pass was intentional, as Pete Kozma was walked ahead of the pitcher to set up an inning-ending double play in the second inning.

In all, the Cardinals have drawn a total of eight unintentional walks in five games against the Giants. That’s a remarkably low total from an offense that finished fourth in the NL with 533 walks. And it’s not like the Giants have been throwing Cliff Lee over and over again. They were seventh in the NL in walks allowed by their pitchers, at 489.

Matt Holliday and Jon Jay have been the most aggressive of the Cardinals hitters so far, and it seems to be taking a toll. Holliday went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts tonight and is 4-for-21 with no extra-base hits in the series. He hasn’t homered since the wild card game against the Braves two weeks ago. Jay, the Cardinals’ leadoff man, is 5-for-21 with no walks. He’s also been awful in road games all year long, so there’s a case for sitting him with the series returning to St. Louis on Sunday. However, the Cardinals value his defense so highly that it’s unlikely they’d go that route.

At the very least, hitting coach Mark McGwire should have talks with both. For Holliday, this is shaping up as his sixth lousy postseason series in seven total series with the Cardinals. He hit .289 with five homers and 10 RBI during the Rockies’ World Series run in 2007, but since arriving in St. Louis in 2009, he’s come in at .250 with three homers and 13 RBI in 108 at-bats. Much of that production came in last year’s NLCS against the Brewers. He went 3-for-19 with no RBI in the World Series last year, and he’s hitting .222 with seven RBI in 45 at-bats so far this month.

  1. byjiminy - Oct 20, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Nice to see Holliday failing, after that cheap shot on Scutaro!

    • fearlessleader - Oct 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Or it could have something to do with the fact that his mother is seriously ill with colon cancer and he’s been splitting his time between the ballpark and her hospital room. Maybe this would be a good time for us to stop dwelling on something that he and Scutaro have already put behind them.

  2. paperlions - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Couldn’t agree more. Zito would try to throw one strike…then would usually never come close to the plate again until he had 3 balls….and even then would often throw some off speed pitch that would have been a ball. They never made him throw strikes.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      I think he swung at the 1st pitch 3 of his 4 at bats.
      So not only are you not seeing any pitches…you are letting the opposing pitcher off the hook w/ minimal pitches thrown. As a team they didn’t work the count at all.
      But Holliday and J.J. (to a lesser extent) were certainly the biggest culprits.

  3. tomemos - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    You mean that the series is returning to San Francisco, not St. Louis.

  4. triaxfusion - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    This isn’t news, Holliday has been terrible all season. He swings at pitches that aren’t even close an makes bad outs. Not to mention how lousy he is in the OF. I would argue he’s no better than the 6th best position player on the cards roster this season.

    • paperlions - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Just so everyone is clear, these numbers are terrible:

      12th best wRC+ in all of MLB

      13th best wOBA in all of MLB

      13th best OBP in all of MLB

      32 best SLG in all of MLB

      20th best BB rate in all of MLB

      Yep, terrible….all season.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        Ahhh…you beat me to it. It matters not. Yours was better anyway.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      Terrible all season? What the hell? You might want to do a little homework.
      If so…you would know he carried them for streches this season.

  5. Old Gator - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    I usually came up empty when I was being overagressive. Got slapped a couple of times, too. Of course, that was when I was young and callow. When I changed my clincher pickup line to “do you believe in entropy on a first date,” things improved dramatically.

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      “Sometimes, the cards ain’t worth a dime, if you don’t lay em’ down, no-no!”

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