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Monday, September 27, 2021

The Cardinals’ Impressive Winning Streak Doesn’t Guarantee October Success

For as unbeatable as the Cardinals appear right now, the history of late-season winning streaks tells us that while this run may certainly help the team secure a playoff berth, it doesn’t tell us anything about how they’ll fare in October. Look no further than that aforementioned Cleveland team for a harsh reminder of that lesson. From August 24 to September 15 of the 2017 season, the defending AL champions steamrolled opponents, piling up wins in close games and in blowouts until they’d set an American League record. The team finished with 102 wins, the highest total by the franchise since 1954, and hopes were high that they could secure the title that they’d come so close to winning just the year before. Yet when the postseason rolled around, Cleveland was unceremoniously bounced, losing a tight five-game series to the Yankees.

The story was similar for the team whose AL record they broke. The 2002 A’s won 20 straight games from August 13 to September 6 and finished with 103 wins, the franchise’s highest total since 1988. Yet they too were defeated in a five-game Division Series, losing to the Twins.

In fact, no team that’s run off a late-season streak — starting in August or September — of more than 11 wins has even reached the World Series during the division play era (1969 onward):

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2021 at 05:28 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: September 27, 2021 at 05:53 PM (#6042016)
The 1969 Mets were in fourth place at 18-23 in late May.

then they won 11 straight, went 2-4, 7-1, 0-4, 2-2, 12-3, and 7-11 to check in at 62-51 - so 10 games back on Aug. 13.

a 29-7 stretch followed to get them to 91-58, and after an 0-3 they went 9-0 before losing the season finale to the vanquished Cubs before a dispirited Wrigley "crowd" of 9,981.

overall, a 38-11 finish and a 100-62 record. that sure felt like momentum !


   2. Eddie Gaedel Posted: September 27, 2021 at 05:54 PM (#6042017)
Got it... there's no such thing as a hot hand. Or, to quote Earl Weaver: "Momentum is only as good as tomorrow's starting pitcher."

That said, it's been fun to watch.
   3. The Duke Posted: September 27, 2021 at 06:05 PM (#6042018)
I’m pretty sure Max scherzer will have something to say about our 23 game winning streak when we play them in the WC
   4. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 27, 2021 at 06:44 PM (#6042027)
The NY Giants winning streak in 1951 that the Cards just equaled was concluded the day before I was born.
   5. VCar Posted: September 27, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6042035)
the Rockies long win streak didn't help them in the WS against the Sawx, but at least they got that far
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: September 27, 2021 at 07:55 PM (#6042036)
In fact, no team that’s run off a late-season streak — starting in August or September — of more than 11 wins has even reached the World Series during the division play era (1969 onward):


The cutoff of "more than 11" is noteworthy, as it excludes the '07 Rockies, who won 11 straight and 14 of their last 15 (including the one-game playoff) to close the season, then ripped off seven more in a row to get to the World Series (where, granted, they were shellacked).

Edit: Too late.
   7. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: September 27, 2021 at 08:16 PM (#6042038)
Weaver was right about momentum of course and The Duke notes the problem for the Cards in the WC game.

But the nature of baseball is such that it is very difficult to stay ultra hot for a long period. #### happens and the Cardinals, while a good team, aren’t a great team and probably won’t go deep in the playoffs for that reason rather than any momentum issues. If I were a cardinal fan I wouldn’t give a #### about that and just be enjoying this run.
   8. The Duke Posted: September 27, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6042041)
Completely agree. This season is already a success if you are a Cardinal fan. This run has been so much fun
   9. bunyon Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#6042044)
I mean, sure. But I'd rather be on a 16 game winning streak than a 16 game losing streak even if neither tells you what happens in the postseason.

And a one game playoff? I'd rather be hot than good.
   10. Astroenteritis Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6042046)
Nothing guarantees October success, but it has been a fabulous run, and made it a season to remember for Cardinal fans.
   11. sanny manguillen Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:16 PM (#6042051)
Both the 1970 and 1971 Orioles swept their playoffs and went to the Series with 14-game streaks. The Reds finally stopped the 1970 streak at 17, the Pirates at 16 before going on to win. The 1960 Yankees had won 15 in a row when Murtaugh's Pirates stopped them in Game 1.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: September 27, 2021 at 11:47 PM (#6042062)
The 97 Marlins lost 4 straight and 7 of 9 before entering the playoffs. They swept the Giants in the first round. The 2003 Marlins won 6 of their last 7 and went 18-8 in Sept. They beat the Giants 3-1 in the first round.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: September 28, 2021 at 12:00 AM (#6042063)

The 97 Marlins lost 4 straight and 7 of 9 before entering the playoffs. They swept the Giants in the first round. The 2003 Marlins won 6 of their last 7 and went 18-8 in Sept. They beat the Giants 3-1 in the first round.


The 2000 Yankees lost seven straight and 13 of 15 heading into the playoffs, then won the World Series.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2021 at 12:50 AM (#6042067)
Sure but they had the calm eyes of Jeter
   15. TomH Posted: September 28, 2021 at 11:51 AM (#6042120)
good thing it was the only season in a bajillion years that 87 wins got you a division title!
   16. Perry Posted: September 28, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6042128)
the Rockies long win streak didn't help them in the WS against the Sawx, but at least they got that far


They also had 9 days off between the NLCS and WS. That would be a momentum stopper.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2021 at 07:49 PM (#6042203)
As a Cardinal fan, as others have mentioned, the season is already a success. They did something that will be remembered for a long time... I'm fairly certain it's going to be easier to remember who won 16 games in a row in the Nl, than it is who managed to have lost in a particular round of a playoff series.

Do I want more? Of course I do, but this streak shuts up the idiots who self hated on the team that they support because they have a victim complex. (I mean, the number of articles/fan sites, that kept making the claim that the Cardinals organization isn't dedicated to winning was absurdly high.... and I'm like "have you looked at the history of this organization over the past 20+ years?" Cardinal fans were upset because the team was only going to be .500 for the season or so, as if that is evidence of a team not trying to win.)
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 28, 2021 at 08:03 PM (#6042205)
Wrong thread.
   19. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 29, 2021 at 01:26 AM (#6042277)
The Cardinals are a good baseball club on a roll, but The Duke is right; it'll be a tall order to defeat a Scherzer-Kershaw tag team in the play-in.
   20. smileyy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 02:30 AM (#6042283)
Making the postseason is pretty successful. Winning streaks sure do help with that.
   21. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 04:51 AM (#6042285)
the article only looks at Sept with about 25 games as a data set. That strikes me as too low to draw any conclusions. What if we extend the survey to the last 50 games? Surely that's a better sample size.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 02:22 PM (#6042369)
The Cardinals are a good baseball club on a roll, but The Duke is right; it'll be a tall order to defeat a Scherzer-Kershaw tag team in the play-in.


I know that the Giants have the best record in baseball and most power rankings have them number one, but I would rather play the Giants in a series than the Giants. One game series against the Dodgers and Giants is about the best chance that the Cardinals have. I know it's bad to root for any particular series as the axiom you might get what you wish for, but there is absolutely no way the Cardinals will beat the Dodgers in a 7 game series. Not with their pitching.
   23. bunyon Posted: September 29, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6042372)
Definitely true, cfb. I hate that the Dodgers (or Giants) are going to have to play a one-gamer against a team with >10 fewer wins. But that's the rules.
   24. Mefisto Posted: September 29, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6042373)
I would rather play the Giants in a series than the Giants.


I assume you'd rather play the Giants than the Dodgers. As a Giants fan, I'd say you're entirely right about that.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6042376)

I assume you'd rather play the Giants than the Dodgers. As a Giants fan, I'd say you're entirely right about that.


Yes that is what I meant.... ugh.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 02:45 PM (#6042377)
Definitely true, cfb. I hate that the Dodgers (or Giants) are going to have to play a one-gamer against a team with >10 fewer wins. But that's the rules.


Yep, I think at a minimum it should be a three game series, and on top of that, if there is more than a 10 game difference in the standings, all three are at the better record team home. This one and done does a true disservice for this exact season. Most years it probably wouldn't be much of a difference, but this year, the Dodgers (or Giants) are going to get hosed.
   27. Perry Posted: September 29, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6042390)
Disagree. The one-and-done is what gives the Giants-Dodgers race for the division title a bit of meaning. I hated in 2006 when the Dodgers and Padres were locked at the top of the NL West and blew off the final game of the season because the loser was the wild card and neither team cared. The division title should mean something and there should be incentive to win it. I'd get rid of wild cards altogether.
   28. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 29, 2021 at 03:57 PM (#6042394)
I seem to remember studying this a while back and concluding that teams that get hot down the stretch to get in the playoffs don't usually do well in the playoffs because they weren't that good to start with. I mean, it's one thing to win games against mediocre-to-poor teams, but in the playoffs you're facing truly good teams.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6042408)
I seem to remember studying this a while back and concluding that teams that get hot down the stretch to get in the playoffs don't usually do well in the playoffs because they weren't that good to start with. I mean, it's one thing to win games against mediocre-to-poor teams, but in the playoffs you're facing truly good teams.


There are dozens of people who have made videos, studies and articles on this exact same thing, but the real problem is that there is not really enough data to reach any conclusion in the slightest. The post season is a crapshoot, there aren't really that many examples of teams getting hot down the stretch etc. So everyone who is doing these type of studies are going in with already decided conclusions and using the data to support their conclusion.

As people in this thread have mentioned, what about the Rockies? And ignoring winning streaks, how about teams that had great final month of the season that helped them make it into the post season? What about the 2011 Cardinals, what about 2003 Marlins? I don't think anyone thinks a winning streak is a true indication of a team talent, but what that streak does is improves the quality that the team looks like and it needs to be included in any analysis of their overall ability.

It's the post season, it's a crapshoot anyway, all winning does is make the team feel more confident going into the next game that they have a shot. There are two teams in baseball, pretty clearly above the rest of the pack, and maybe another two teams (Rays/Astros) above the next tier, but after that, the third tier, I don't see anything separating the group of all the rest of the playoff bound teams(and Jays) especially when you look at current lineup construction, instead of blindly looking at pyth or something else. (and without Belt, the Giants might not even be clearly in the top tier either)

All the third tier teams have flaws, some of it is able to be minimized in a playoff series (there is no need for a fifth starter or even a fourth starter, bench strength is minimized and bullpen depth is also less important)
   30. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 08:13 PM (#6042449)

There are dozens of people who have made videos, studies and articles on this exact same thing, but the real problem is that there is not really enough data to reach any conclusion in the slightest...


I pretty much agree in general, but I dont think the problem isnt enuf data, I think there are a number of issues that complicate things. Lets take a look at some of the teams the author mentions. He mentions four teams have won the WS after a sub 500 Sept:

97 FL that team was playing 640 ball from All Star break to their mid Sept swoon. At that pt. they were up 6.5 for the wild card with ten games to play. So what was that? just coasting to the finish? They were obviously pretty strong up to then, not super but pretty strong.

2006 STL. There is no pt. in the season you could say this team was better than .500 for any significant stretch. But what happened. They played NYM in NLCS and the Mets were a .600 team the last 2 months. So a .500 team beat a .600 team, OK that happens fairly often. And it was a good 7 game series. Then they get DET in the WS and DET was a .420 club the last 2 months of the season in fact 21-31 the last 52 they werent the same team. Series was over in 5 it was barely competitive. So there's lots to dissect there but none of suggests that recent data pts arent relevant.

2003 NYY. from July to mid Sept this was a 670 ball club, so a very strong team. They went into a swoon up by 9 with 19 left. So again its kind of misleading to look at Sept alone without any context. Obviously a very strong team.

2015 KCR they were playing 700 ball for three months prior to early Sept swoon. At that pt they were up 13 games. Obviously a very strong team.


So theres complicating factors:

a. Sample Size. A sample size of 25 games is barely more than a random sample. Hell isnt that Walt and CFB point out every time we talk about outfield defense or Byron BUxton's batting? Suprised no one mentioned sample size.

b. Teams change. Personnel changes, injuries, use patterns, you have to factor that in too.

c. Garbage time. There's times in the season where you're not really playing for anything surely that's a factor.


But forget all that for the moment. Lets back up a second.

Do Primates agree that PLAYERS don't get hot?

I dunno about Walt but surely CFB at least believes in players getting hot. And if players can get hot, then so can teams. isnt that obvious? It seems to me going into the playoffs you want to identify which players are hot, and then which team has a cadre of hot players cause those are teams to watch.

SO I disagree with the basic premise here I guess.
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6042453)
I dunno about Walt but surely CFB at least believes in players getting hot. And if players can get hot, then so can teams. isnt that obvious? It seems to me going into the playoffs you want to identify which players are hot, and then which team has a cadre of hot players cause those are teams to watch.


The argument about hot, isn't that they get or don't get hot, it's whether or not a hot player is expected to maintain that hot streak. There is no argument that can be justified that players don't get hot, it's whether or not a 6 game hot streak indicates they are likely to continue it for a 7th game.

I'm fully with the math guys on that, there is no such thing as predicting a hot streak will continue, without there being some acknowledgment of a change in style or decision making or health or something. And even there, often times that acknowledgment is pseudo talk trying to explain the hot streak that isn't really true, but more about a sample size variation in a skill or something.


Talking about this team in particular, Bader got 'hot' but he also started the season hot, dropped back to earth and then got hot again, overall, he is somewhat better than his career but not really out of the norm or expectations for a guy with his skill set and his age. O'Neill was a highly regarded prospect in the Mariners minor league when the Cardinals acquired him, nothing he has done goes against expectations, maybe he's exceeded a bit, but in reality he's potentially this good for real, the power is absolutely true to his expectations, maybe the defense is a bit of a surprise, not sure, I didn't follow him as a prospect.

Goldy and Arenado are performing within their range of expectation. Edman and Sosa are a bit of a surprise, (Edman leads the NL in doubles and games played while playing plus defense which contributes to his 3.6 war) Sosa replaces DeJong and has been excellent on both sides of the field. The Cardinals have an entire lineup of average or better players at every position (by War) and DeJong on the bench with a 1.5 war and 19 hr in less than 400 pa) The team is a good team with no holes on games in which Wainwright, Lester, Mikolas, Flaherty starts. They aren't the best in baseball of course, but there is no reason to think they are going to be an easy opponent, when you look at the lineup.

And for fun I have looked at the Cardinals roster compared to every competitor in the NL this season, and out of 8 positions, they are better than all of the teams in at least four.

   32. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 09:52 PM (#6042469)
after reading that I don't know if you believe in hot streaks or not.

Obviously no one can put a definitive game or AB at the end pt to a hot streak for the same reason that no one can cite an exact moment a hot streak begins. Its all statistically based so it wont become apparent until some number of data pts. have accumulated enuf to say this more than a random thing.

So you cant say what day a hot streak ends just as you cant say a time when a hot streak began. I dont think it invalidates the whole concept.

What about this passage:

in particular, Bader... overall, he is somewhat better than his career but not really out of the norm or expectations for a guy with his skill set and his age.


So is Bader playing better than in previous years? Then I guess he's at least warmer than usual. SO now you agree players can play better than their usual selves?
   33. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 10:04 PM (#6042471)
after reading that I don't know if you believe in hot streaks or not.


Hot streaks absolutely happen, anyone who debates this is a ####### idiot. The argument isn't that hot streaks exist, it's whether a current hot streak informs an observer that it will continue in the next game. That is where the debate exists.

So is Bader playing better than in previous years? Then I guess he's at least warmer than usual. SO now you agree players can play better than their usual selves?


Yes, but he's also 27 years old and that is when players reach their peak traditionally, so his improvement is in line with growth expectation. This is a guy who put up a 3.4 war in 427 pa as a 24 year old, a 2.3 war in 406 pa as a 25 year old, and 1.0 war in 125 pa as a 26 year old, so 3.9 war in 385 pa isn't really out of expectations for a 27 year old. (coming into this season he has averaged 4.5 war per 650 pa as a player)

My original point about the comment was that Bader is within his predictable ability. He's not an aberration.

Edit: I apologize I think there is a chance that my comments might have been a bit mis-understood about the discussion I'm having. You have the hot hand discussion, and you have the quality of the team discussion. Some of the comments I made are about the absolute quality of the team and not the hot hand discussion, but I'm putting them in the same post because I'm an idiot and have made a mistake of not realizing that I need to clarify which discussion I'm having. (see my next post)
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 10:26 PM (#6042479)
I was trying to articulate that the team is not nearly as bad as people think they are based upon pyth or some other archaic way at looking at the quality of the team. I'm also arguing that the Cardinals are actually a pretty good team, regardless of the streak. They have above average players at every single position on the diamond, they have a solid plus rotation (now...not all season) and an above average bullpen (now... not all season)

The issue with judging a team based upon pyth or final record, as I have tried to point out in 2006, is that the team isn't the same that it was over 162 games of the season, you have to evaluate based upon the talent that is going into the post season. Outside of the Dodgers (and their rotation) I don't think the Cardinals look bad in comparison to any other team going into the post season. (Astros are maybe the other team)

There is no doubt in my mind that the Dodgers are the best team in baseball, heck they are probably, as constructed right now, on the list of top ten teams of all time.

And it would be sad if they are eliminated in a one game play in.... and I wouldn't shed one single tear if that happened.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 10:35 PM (#6042482)
streak is over. Standing ovation for the team.
   36. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 30, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6042623)
The argument isn't that hot streaks exist, it's whether a current hot streak informs an observer that it will continue in the next game. That is where the debate exists.


I think this is what I want to focus on. If someone says that there's no way to know if a hot streak will continue, then to me you don't believe in them. That would be the same thing as saying the streak you saw was just random luck, better than normal.

But I dont think that what you're saying, you seem to say they do exist BUT...

So you seem to be agnostic on the issue: "maybe they do maybe they don't the debate is.."

To me, the qualifier you put on that would mean they dont really exist. Just trying to figure this out.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: September 30, 2021 at 07:18 PM (#6042633)
They absolutely exist, and they are more than just random luck... sometimes (many times?). It could be a host of factors that we can't quantify, from things like confidence, to a new set of contact lens, to good sleep that week. Other times it's just random luck.

I think the better you are at a particular skill, the less likely you will get a hot hand that is based upon more than random luck. You can get cold because something is not diagnosed with your body that is affecting your play, but it's nearly impossible to get 'hot' when you are already in the 98th percentile of a skill. So if you see a .250 true batter start to hit .350 over the course of 50-100 pa, to me that is someone that is likely to be "hot" than a .300 hitter hitting .400 over the same stretch which is probably a combination of luck, favorable matchups etc.

On top of that, baseball is a game of adjustments and it's also possible that the player made adjustments that work for him, and it's going to take a while before the other team's scouting reports reflect the new adjustments and a new way to attack those adjustments. Because of that, we don't know when the other team is going to make their adjustments, which is why a hot streak is not predictable when it's going to end. Other times a player might claim to have made an adjustment after the fact, because it matches up with the recent performance, but often enough, that player reverts to being who he is and that adjustment is just a blip, and there are two arguments there, either he did make the adjustment and stopped out of habit or someone predicted the adjustment based upon a small data sample, that eventually reverted to it's true level. (this is something that we used to talk a lot with Francoeur and his fluctuating walk rate)

All of these can be true.

I think that it's true players can get hot, I think it's true that it can be because there are things going right with them beyond something quantifiable(currently) I also think that some 'hot' streaks are just mathematical oddities. I also think it's possible for a player during a season to reach a new level for them that is going to become sustainable going forward (maybe not at the hot streak level, but a true improvement... I think O'Neill is an example of that this season and maybe to a lesser extent Bader, although Bader overall season is about in line with maybe his "Pecota" 80 percentile projection) I do not think there is anyway to truly know which type of hot streak we are witnessing. And I absolutely believe that there is no way to use an identified hot streak and project it going forward with any accuracy.


   38. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 30, 2021 at 07:28 PM (#6042635)
The adjustment thing is very interesting because there's a well known study in basketball that says there's no hot streaks (in terms of shooting). But that didnt, or perhaps couldn't, account for adjustments on the part of the defense.

I haven't read your entire post but Im not sure the adjustment thing is prevalent in baseball.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: September 30, 2021 at 08:06 PM (#6042641)
there's a well known study in basketball that says there's no hot streaks (in terms of shooting).


Which is somewhat ridiculous, the brain is hardwired that repetitive tasks repeated over a short time period, that you get faster at it, and make fewer mistakes. Whether shooting baskets during a game is within the range of a short time period might be the issue, the thing is that if you are focused on doing something, and you aren't switched to other tasks, your brain gets better 'temporarily' at the task.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 30, 2021 at 09:19 PM (#6042674)
yeah. One thing that is obvious is that second foul shots go in at a better rate than first shots.
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 30, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#6042677)
I also think it's possible for a player during a season to reach a new level for them that is going to become sustainable going forward


Right so don't you think that a playoff team with a statistically significant hot streak should be a factor?
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: September 30, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6042691)

Right so don't you think that a playoff team with a statistically significant hot streak should be a factor?


I think a playoff team that made changes to their roster that improved the team, which helped result in a hot streak, should be a factor.

From a purely fan point of view, the Cardinals are three things, an 88 win team, a pyth 83 win team, better than their pyth record, and maybe on par with their actual record... beyond that, their hot streak doesn't matter in the slightest other than it adds evidence to their quality. The hot streak doesn't matter, it's the wins and the results and performance of players that matter. Players got hot etc... but there are no real aberrations on the roster other than O'Neill, and that is probably due to him finally getting playing time and figuring a thing out (he clearly made changes from the first half to the second half that has resulted in more balls in play, and with his strength, that is absolutely something you want)

The 17 game winning streak while being fun, isn't that important, it's just wins vs losses over the course of a 162 game season. There are people that want to belittle the Cardinals because of the win streak "without it, you wouldn't be in this" type of arguments, but that is just a dumb ass argument... The streak isn't going to figure into the future in any way. Not really, there is a bit of a psychological boost for the team, that might help them think that they have a chance no matter what, but that might be 2% of a game changer, the issue is the quality of the team going forward, and in the post season, luck also figures in tremendously.

I like this team, not a huge fan of Shildt, but a team that literally has plus players at every position, that going into the playoffs has a solid B rotation (Wainwright, Mikolas, Lester, Happ with Flaherty in the wings) and a plus bullpen in the first 4 slots, can be competitive against anyone. It's not going to be about momentum, it's going to be about skill and luck.
   43. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 30, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6042708)
Have the Cards made any changes since the all star break? They seem to have improved quite a bit. They're a .400 team from game 36 to 86 and a .700 team for the last 50 games. It seems some of this must be real.
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: September 30, 2021 at 10:46 PM (#6042724)

Have the Cards made any changes since the all star break? They seem to have improved quite a bit. They're a .400 team from game 36 to 86 and a .700 team for the last 50 games. It seems some of this must be real.


Yes and no. They added two crappy starting pitchers, (for the season up to that point) who played into the Cardinals strengths and have been solid. Lester and Happ have stabilized the rotation... Lester most notably because he fully recognized that his talent has changed and let the Cardinals coach him to be Wainwright 2.0, Happ took a couple of more starts to realize that having the best defense in baseball behind him is a way to work his pitches to induce weak contact (and that is the thing, it's not about just putting the ball in play, but it's about coaching weak contact when you do, and you have the best defense in baseball behind you.)

Add in Garcia and the changing roles of McFarland, and Gallegos and the team has changed fairly dramatically from July. The roster is more or less the same, the only real change there has been Sosa replacing DeJong (and Sosa has put up 3.3 bWar this year) Bader came back etc... this team feels a bit like the 2006 Cardinals with one exception, the roster churn happened earlier.
   45. Bob T Posted: October 01, 2021 at 02:00 AM (#6042745)
The 1960 Yankees had won 15 in a row when Murtaugh's Pirates stopped them in Game 1.


Note to Casey Stengel: You didn't need to prioritize Art Ditmar starts to Whitey Ford starts.

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