Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Another day, another walk-off HR in Cards
By ESPN Stats & Information
St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong seems to have recovered well from the left shoulder bruise that sidelined him for a couple of weeks at the end of June into early July.Wong capped the Cardinals' win over the Pittsburgh Pirates with his first career walk-off home run.
He’s 4-for-10 with two home runs and four RBIs in three games since his activation. He hit only one home run in his first 45 games of the season and was 4-for-45 in the 15 games prior to being placed on the disabled list.
The Cardinals have won back-to-back games on walk-off home runs after not hitting one since Game 6 of the 2011 World Series (David Freese’s winner against the Texas Rangers).
The last time the Cardinals hit walk-off home runs in consecutive games was June 4-5, 2011. Both home runs were hit by Albert Pujols.
Prior to these games, the Cardinals hadn’t beaten the Pirates on a walk-off home run since Jim Edmonds hit one in 2003.
Second Base is First Priority for Improvement
Entering Tuesday, the Cardinals had gotten little from the second base position all season, the drawback of moving Matt Carpenter to third base.
Cardinals second basemen entered the day hitting .204 with a .539 OPS, which ranked third-worst and second-worst in baseball, respectively.
Wong is doing a couple of things decently. He’s hitting .259 with a .420 slugging percentage in 112 at-bats at home. He’s also hitting a respectable .227 with two strikes this season.
Wong has managed to put his bat on the ball at a good rate. He has missed on only 12 percent of his swings this season. That ranks sixth-lowest among the 140 National League hitters with at least 150 plate appearances this season.
Ninth-inning troubles continued for Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri, who yielded Wong’s home run.
Frieri has now allowed eight ninth-inning home runs this season, tied with Addison Reed for the most of any pitcher in the major leagues, and has now given up a walk-off home run for two teams this season.