You are here
Home > Analysis > St. Louis Cardinals Keys to Success: Winning One Run Games

St. Louis Cardinals Keys to Success: Winning One Run Games

Randal Grichuk

The last two games have highlighted a necessary skill the St. Louis Cardinals must have in 2017. Win the one run games. Having the ability to win a one run game is a true test of a team’s overall ability. It shows the ability to hold a lead with your bullpen, produce a run with your offence, and occasionally get a little lucky. (Ok, nice catch Albert Almora Jr.)

 

The bullpen was at times a bright spot and a roller coaster in 2016. The Cardinals had 17 blown saves last year, giving them a 69% save percentage 13th in the league. Having Seung-Hwan Oh as the closer all season (Who will be just fine) should help to get that percentage closer to the 75% mark it needs to be. If the Cardinals can get a healthy Rosenthal back to pitch with Siegrist and Broxton in the 7th and 8th, I estimate the back end of the bullpen will hold a 1 run lead or keep you with in one run like they did against the cubs last night.

 

Looking at 1 run games since 1901, you will see a vast majority of teams that have above .500 winning percentages have greater odds of winning there division and pennant. The Chart below shows team records in 1 run games as well as overall records, and highlights achievements from that year.

Interesting note from this chart: The Cubs were the first team in baseball history to win at least 102 games in a season and fall below .500 in 1 run games. (Should’ve paid Chapman)

 

There are two main reasons the Cardinals struggled in 1 run games in 2016, solid defense and bullpen pitching. With so much priority being put on defense this spring, there is hope that is could help the Cardinals in close games. (Maybe not having Adams in LF after the 7th) There is no mystery that the Cardinals were just awful last year in fielding. Every sabermetric that measures a team’s defense had them toward the bottom of the league. Did the Cardinals do enough to fix those problems in 2016? Only time will tell.

 

The bullpen was at times a bright spot and a roller coaster in 2016. The Cardinals had 17 blown saves last year, giving them a 69% save percentage 13th in the league. Having Oh as the closer all season (Who will be just fine) should help to get that percentage closer to the 75% mark it needs to be. If the Cardinals can get a healthy Rosenthal back to pitch with Siegrist and Broxton in the 7th and 8th, I estimate the back end of the bullpen will hold a one run lead or keep you with in one run like they did against the cubs last night.

 

The luck part, well… Where is that squirrel at?

 

*Disclaimer and apologies to Zach Gifford, for not diving into the Pythagorean Record or run variances. Sorry, ain’t nobody got time for that. But, to be fair to the stat I will say the Cardinals had a -2 Pythagorean Luck. (Looking at you baseball gods)

It’s only two games into the season and the Cardinals are 1-1 in one run games. Have no fear, this team seems to be built to succeed in these situations. I predict the Cardinals will finish the year with a <.540 record in one run games but it will still only secure them a wild card spot.

 

Rubber game today… Let’s go Cardinals. Hey, maybe just win by four today.

Similar Articles
Top
Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.