Stats & Info: Matt Adams

Top Stats to Know: Royals vs. Cardinals

June, 2, 2014
Jun 2

Scott Rovak/USA TODAY SportsTop prospect Oscar Taveras homered Saturday in his major league debut.
The Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals face off Monday night, when power will be at a premium in St. Louis.

As the Cardinals fight to catch the division-leading Brewers and the Royals look to pull themselves out of the AL Central basement, both teams will be trying to add the long ball to offenses that have suffered power outages to start the season.

Power Problems for Both

The Royals and Cardinals rank last and second-to-last, respectively, in home runs this season. Much of their power struggles have come in the middle of the lineups.

Both teams have received three home runs from their third and fourth hitters in the lineup, tied for the fewest by any team this season. The Royals (0.099) and Cardinals (0.111) also rank last and second-to-last this season in isolated power, which measures extra bases per at-bat.

Chasing History . . . The Wrong Way

The Royals are on pace for 69 home runs this season, which would be their second-lowest total in team history and fewest since 1976 (65) in a non-strike season.

The Cardinals' home run totals are way down as well -- they are on pace to hit 85. That would be their lowest home run total in a non-strike season since 1991 (70).

Matt Holliday has hit only three home runs, the fewest he has had in his first 56 games of a season. Matt Adams, who was recently moved to the disabled list with a left calf strain, has averaged a home run every 64.7 at-bats this season. Adams averaged a home run every 17.4 at-bats last season.

Cardinals' Defense Delivers

The Cardinals lead the majors with 38 defensive runs saved, five more than the next closest team.

St. Louis' infield has been especially dominant defensively, with second baseman Kolten Wong tied with Ian Kinsler for the second-most defensive runs saved with six (Colorado's DJ LeMahieu leads MLB second basemen with seven).

Last season, the Cardinals' defense ranked 22nd in the majors with minus-39 defensive runs saved, while the Royals led the majors in 2013 with 93 runs saved.

Lynn's shutout versus Yankees a rare one

May, 28, 2014
May 28
Lance Lynn wasn’t dominant, but he was sharp enough to earn his first career shutout by blanking the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Lynn now has 39 wins over the past three seasons, but it looks like he’s headed to his best season in that span, with a 3.13 ERA so far. The past two seasons, his ERA was 3.78 and 3.97.

How he won
Lynn triumphed with a fastball that ranged from 92 to 95 mph and netted him 19 outs. But Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Lynn’s breaking stuff was the best he’d seen all season, even though Lynn didn’t get a swing and miss on any of the 28 breaking balls he threw.

Lynn threw a season-high 18 percent curveballs (22 of his 126 pitches), and those resulted in seven outs while yielding only one baserunner.

The Yankees went 2 for 17 when hitting ground balls against Lynn, who has benefited from improved infield defense: Cardinals infielders have turned 78 percent of ground balls hit against Lynn into outs. Last season, their out rate was 72 percent.

Interleague shutout of the Yankees a rarity
No pitcher had thrown a shutout in interleague play against the Yankees since the 1997 season, when Dave Mlicki (Mets), Greg Maddux (Braves) and Mike Grace (Phillies) did so.

The last Cardinals pitcher to shut out the Yankees in either the regular season or postseason was Ernie White, who threw a six-hitter against them in Game 3 of the 1942 World Series.

The last Cardinals pitcher to throw a complete game against the Yankees is a more recognizable name — Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson, in clinching Game 7 of the 1964 World Series.

As the Elias Sports Bureau noted, Gibson beat a Missouri native in Mel Stottlemyre that day. Lynn beat one as well in Yankees starter David Phelps.

Matt Adams continues to rake
Matt Adams supported Lynn’s effort by going 3 for 4 with an RBI. He is now 5 for 9 in the series and 18 for 40 in his past 11 games.

Adams continues to excel against pitches on (or just off) the outside edge of the plate. He has three hits in the series on pitches to the outer third or off the corner (including one on Tuesday), giving him 37 for the season.

Last season, Adams saw 693 pitches to that location (266 more than he’s seen so far this season) and had only 28 hits. He also has 32 line drives on such pitches in 2014, more than twice as many as he had in 2013 (15).

Wainwright's curve carries Cards to LCS

October, 9, 2013
What were the biggest statistical keys for the St. Louis Cardinals in their NLDS win over the Pittsburgh Pirates?

Adam Wainwright was the best pitcher in the series
The Cardinals ace was awesome in both Game 1 and Game 5. He’s now 5-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his past six home starts, combining regular season and postseason. He's 4-0 for his career in postseason play.
Adam Wainwright
Wainwright became the fourth Cardinals pitcher to throw a complete game while allowing one run or fewer in a winner-take-all postseason game, joining Dizzy Dean (1934, against the Tigers), Danny Cox (1987 NLCS, against the Giants) and Chris Carpenter (2011, against the Phillies).

Wainwright’s curveball wasn’t as good as it was in Game 1, in which he threw 27 of 33 for strikes, and it netted 11 outs and yielded no hits. But it was good enough to record six strikeouts, including the series-ender against Pedro Alvarez. He threw it more often in Game 5 (45 percent of his pitches) than he did in any start in his career.

Complete games in winner-take-alls have been a trend the past four seasons. Five pitchers have them: Wainwright, his teammate Carpenter, CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander and Cliff Lee.

The Cardinals made the plays when they had to
The Cardinals had some defensive blips in Game 2 but made big plays in key spots in this series. Yadier Molina threw out Josh Harrison trying to steal as the tying run in the eighth inning of Game 4 to aid that win.

In Game 5, Pete Kozma made two nifty plays at shortstop and Matt Carpenter made a pair of catches on line drives that resulted in double plays.

Carpenter’s first catch, on a line drive hit by Alvarez in the second inning, snuffed out an early rally.

It also validated the use of a defensive shift by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. The Cardinals have ranked among the teams that shifted least often over Matheny’s first two seasons.

But since Alvarez had the lowest rate of hitting ground balls to the opposite field among those who qualified for the NL batting title (four percent of balls hit), the Cardinals had Kozma and Carpenter shifted. Thus, Carpenter was in the perfect spot to make the catch.

The Pirates lacked support at the top
The Pirates got some punch from Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen had his share of base hits, but a couple of hitters didn’t perform as they usually did.

The Pirates' 1-2 punch of Starling Marte and Neil Walker were a combined 1-for-38 in the series.

Cardinals pitchers put on a clinic in how to get Marte out, getting him 13 times on pitches on the outer half of the plate or off the outside corner.

Walker set a Pirates postseason record for worst oh-fer in a series with his 0-for-19.

Kernels: Red Sox, Tigers rockin' and rollin'

September, 8, 2013
With apologies to Casey Kasem, Ryan Seacrest, Rick Dees, and all of the notable Top-40 DJs, let's count down a brief selection of our favorite numbers from the week.

34: Runs scored by the Red Sox between Thursday and Saturday. It was their first time scoring nine or more in three straight games against the Yankees in New York. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they also became the first visiting team to score 12 or more in two straight against the Yankees since 1907. The Yankees, meanwhile, scored at least eight in each game yet lost them all, joining the 1999 Rockies as the only teams in MLB history to do that at home.

26:Hits by the Tigers against the Royals on Friday, their most since May 27, 2004. Twenty of those were singles, the Tigers' most since 1946. James Shields allowed 14 hits and is the first starter in the live-ball era to give up that many in an outing of under four innings. No reliever had even done it since Dan Dugan of the White Sox in 1929.

19:Hits by the Royals on Thursday, including a walk-off homer for a 7-6 victory over the Mariners. It was the first time the Royals had at least 19 hits and scored seven runs or less since July 29, 1995, when they had 22 hits but stranded 17 runners in a 5-4 win over Detroit.

16:Innings played by the Cardinals and Reds on Wednesday, most in the 11 seasons of Great American Ball Park.

Matt Adams was the hero with two go-ahead homers-- one in the 14th and another in the 16th. He was the first player ever to homer twice after the 13th inning of a game, and he also hit the latest one for the Cardinals since Doug Clarey (also in the 16th) in San Francisco in April 1976.

Long-Distance Dedication: The Braves' Evan Gattis hit the season's longest home run on Sunday in Philadelphia. The ball descended into the "Ashburn Alley" concourse and hit an unsuspecting fan. According to ESPN Home Run Tracker, it would have gone 486 feet had it continued back to field level. It stole the top spot from Hunter Pence's 476-footer at Coors Field on August 27.

9: Consecutive hits by the Cardinals to start the seventh inning against the Pirates on Friday. First team to record nine hits before making an out, in any inning, since the Red Sox had a 12-run frame against the Indians on May 7, 2009.

7: Red Sox players who homered in Wednesday's 20-4 win over the Tigers, the first team with seven home-run hitters since 2007. The Red Sox hadn't done it in the live-ball era. David Ortiz had two for a team total of eight, marking just the second time a team has hit eight homers in Fenway Park.

Boston also did it against Toronto on July 4, 1977. The 20 runs were a season high in the majors and the first time the Sox had reached 20 since a 25-8 win over the Marlins in 2003.

4: Stolen bases by Billy Hamilton in his first four major-league games. Scored the only run in the Reds' 1-0 victory on Wednesday, the first player to do that in his debut since Don Lock went 1-for-4 with a solo homer for the Washington Senators on July 17, 1962. Elias tells us that Hamilton is the first player in history with a steal in each of his first four MLB games.

3: Home runs by Pablo Sandoval on Wednesday. Giants' first three-homer game out of the fifth spot in the lineup or lower since outfielder Dusty Rhodes did it batting sixth on August 26, 1953.

2: Games that ended with a 12-8 final score on Friday, the first day with two such scores since May 23, 1882.


1: Hits allowed by Yusmeiro Petit on Friday; Arizona's Eric Chavez, the 27th batter of the game, singled just out of Hunter Pence's reach. The last Giants pitcher to lose a perfect game on the 27th batter was George "Hooks" Wiltse, who hit the Phillies' George McQuillan with a pitch, but did finish with a 10-inning no-hitter... on July 4, 1908