It’s been no secret that this has been one of the wildest World Series of all time. Games one through four were littered with errors, strong pitching and wild finishes. One consistent variable throughout the series has been the performances by David Ortiz and Matt Holliday. Jon Lester has out-pitched Adam Wainwright twice, and the only Cardinals’ pitchers with wins in this series are rookies. But I’m not interested in those stats. I firmly believe that the longer the qualifier leading up to a stat, the better it is. So here are my top 7 stats of this year’s series.
5. Characteristically bad defense.
The Boston Red Sox committed an error in the first four games, a shockingly sloppy start, but the four game error streak was not exactly a huge surprise. The Red Sox had five streaks of four or more consecutive games with errors this season despite only committing 80 errors all year. In the 21 games included in these five streaks the Red Sox committed 34 percent of their errors. The Red Sox have finally played a clean game with their game five win, but if they want to win the series, they need to keep it clean.
4. Craig tops Trio.
Allen Craig has started just three games in this series and is playing on a still recovering sprained foot. Despite this, Craig is still producing more than the entire left side of the Cardinals’ infield. The combination of David Freese, Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma have started all five games at the shortstop and third base, amassing a total of 31 at-bats. In these at-bats they have just 3 hits, arriving at an average of .097. As for Craig, he has four hits in 12 at-bats with a double and a run scored. His pinch-hit in game four gave him more pinch hits than anyone in World Series history.
3. He may be Wong or he may be right.
Punny, Right? But seriously, you can’t blame Kolten Wong for getting picked off in the ninth inning of game 3 and here’s why. Of the closers this season (pitchers with at least 20 saves) they had a combined 8 pickoffs in their combined 2059 appearances this season. That means Wong was picked off by a one-in-257 game occurrence.
2. Mash Holliday.
Matt Holliday hits the ball hard. If you need any evidence go ask the light tower on top of the monster. He hits .300 almost every year and rakes in about 100 RBIs but in St. Louis his clutch hitting was always questioned. I’m not sure if it is because of his large contract, the dropped ball in 2009 or his perpetuance for strange injuries like a sprained wrist after getting picked off in game six of the 2011 World Series or a moth in the ear. Regardless of the origins of these feelings, Cardinals fans should be singing a different tune after this series. In the first five games of the series Holliday has 45 percent of the Cardinals RBIs – He has 5 while the rest of the team has 6 – which is a higher percent than David Ortiz. The Cardinals will need him to keep it up if they want to force a game 7.
I’m gonna be frank, as a Cardinals fan I would like to see David Ortiz walked any time he gets close to the batters box. He has been unbelievably locked in all series long. He is 11 for 15 this series, good for an average of .733, but his outs have been just as impressive. Remember that grand slam that Carlos Beltran robbed, Ortiz hit it. And the only out he recorded in Game 5 still has my laundry hanging on it despite screaming its way into Shane Robinson‘s glove.
All these points are crazy, but there is one stat that is simply unbelievable. In Ortiz’s 20 trips to the plate he has reached base 16 times including the error in game one. Over the course of those same plat appearances, Ortiz has gathered just 18 strikes against him. That’s right, Big Papi has nearly as many trips on the bases as he has strikes against him. To take that to another level, of the 18 strikes just three of them are swinging strikes while eight of them are foul balls. That gives Ortiz a minuscule swing and miss percentage of 12 percent. That’s insane.
These are the obscure things I look for when watching the game but I’m sure there are more ridiculous stats than these. If you can find better ones I would love to see them, so post your best in the comments.
Happy hunting and here’s to a game seven!