Regression at the worst time

They said it couldn’t last. They said that “statistics” and “math” required that this could not go on forever. The Cardinals defied a lot of brilliant people for a long time.

Then on Friday in Atlanta, math, probability theory, and regression came calling for the Cardinals. The results have been ugly, just by the eye test. The actual numbers aren’t much better.

Average with RISP Opening Day through July 25: 0.340

Average with RISP July 26 through July 29: 0.182

If there’s a silver lining, if the Cardinals were a little lucky with the bats for a long time, they’ve been VERY unlucky for the last week.  Their average on balls in play has plummeted to a number that can reasonably expect regression in a good direction.

BABIP Opening Day through July 25: 0.321

BABIP July 26 through July 30: 0.200

A few more hard hit balls find holes for Matt Holliday, a few less catches like Andrew McCutchen made last night in center field, and things might look different, outcomes may even change.

But that doesn’t fix the ugly swings we’ve seen, the strikeouts by the lead RISPer Allen Craig.

Of course this all has to happen in the days leading up to the trade deadline, leaving many fans calling for trades to “fix” the lineup rather than plug holes in the pitching staff, but remember Redbird loyalists that this too, shall pass. The bats will wake up, the runs will come in bunches again. The same math that demanded this slump also compels it to end. What we still are more unsure of is who will be pitching scoreless innings for the Cards in September.

(Thanks to great tools Baseball Musings Day-by-Day Database and Crashburn Alley’s BABIP Calculator)

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