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2013 NLCS: Cardinals try to continue historic hitting with RISP

The Cardinals hit .330 this year with runners in scoring position, but also hit .236 with nobody on base.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The first time the Cardinals have a runner in scoring position, you may hear the broadcasters say something like the Cardinals led baseball this year hitting .330 with runners in scoring position. They are the first National League team to hit even .300 with RISP since the 2000 Colorado Rockies hit .309 in those situations. St. Louis has the highest batting average with RISP on record in MLB dating back to at least 1916.

The Cardinals won't have Allen Craig who led the team in this situation, hitting .454 with a 1.138 OPS. The Cardinals .330 average was boosted by a .377 BABIP with RISP.

But even without Craig, most of the regulars you can write in ink in your scorebook for the Cardinals were great with RISP as the chart indicate

But as the chart also shows, the Cardinals were polar opposites when there was no one on base. In fact they ranked 29th in MLB, only better than the Miami Marlins, hitting .236 with a .653 OPS when no one was on base.

Finally, the Cardinals did not fare well against left-handed pitching with a .652 OPS against the southpaws. Which makes the Dodgers' decision to have only one left-hander in the bullpen in J.P. Howell all the more puzzling.

The Pirates did use their 19 games of regular season experience well against the Cardinals as they held the Cardinal offense down in the Division Series for the most part. Whether or not the Dodgers can hope to continue this trend will be something to watch as the series unfolds.