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Sunday, September 22, 2013
Top stats to know: Cardinals vs. Brewers

By Will Cohen

The final Sunday Night Baseball telecast of the 2013 season pits the St. Louis Cardinals against the Milwaukee Brewers with the NL Central race still very much up for grabs (8 PM ET, ESPN). Here are five stats our broadcast crew will be talking about today.

1-- The Cardinals clinched at least a Wild Card berth with a Nationals loss earlier this afternoon.

Mike Matheny becomes the fifth manager in Cardinals history to lead the team to the postseason in back-to-back seasons. He’s the second to do so in his first two full seasons as the club’s manager, joining Gabby Street (1930-31).

2-- Joe Kelly will look to stay hot for the Cardinals. Since the start of July he’s gone 9-1 over 13 starts with a 2.18 ERA. He’s been one of 12 Cardinals pitchers in his age 25 season or younger (age as of June 30) to pitch for them this season, most of any team in MLB.

Kelly averages 94.8 mph with his fastball, eighth-fastest among starters this season. His mound opponent, Wily Peralta, is right behind him at 94.7 mph.

3-- Matt Carpenter could be the fifth Cardinal in the modern era (since 1900) to lead the league in hits, doubles and runs in the same season. The last to do so was Albert Pujols in 2003.

Carpenter has fallen behind with an 0-2 count 126 times this season. In those plate appearances, he’s batted .339 with a .357 on-base percentage and .545 slugging percentage, by far the best in baseball. The major-league average slashline after falling down 0-2 is .167/.196/.248.

4-- Carpenter's teammate, Matt Holliday, his hitting .343 since returning from the disabled list on July 27. Holliday's 70 hits and 44 RBI are the most in the majors in that span.

5--Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez is having a fantastic season. He has a career high 21 home runs and is four steals shy of becoming the 30th different player (and first with the Brewers) to have a 20-homer/40-steal season He ranks second in the NL in Wins Above Replacement (7.8) this season.

Gomez leads all major-league centerfielders in Defensive Runs Saved with 37 this season. No other centerfielder has more than 25.