Ah, July — a new month, time to leave the mediocrity of a 14-14 June from the Cardinals behind with 81 games of 2013 still ahead.
Yes, we’ve reached the official halfway point of the season, since yesterday was game 81. And a record of 49-32 for the first half is certainly terrific.
Second-best in the majors, as a matter of fact, yet also second-best in the National League Central thanks to the how-do-they-keep-winning-games-like-that Pittsburgh Pirates, who won their second consecutive 2-1 game over the Brewers yesterday for their ninth straight victory and 51st overall.
Still, there’s so much baseball left to be played (plus so much against the Pirates and — let’s not forget about them, the Reds) that it’s going to be an exciting rest of the season. Right?
And despite the disappointment of the Cardinals .500 record last month after such a terrific May, there were some definite standouts throughout the month. Which means it’s time to present our June BAMF award.
But this time, you get to vote — and there are plenty of nominees. In fact, you might just read through all these numbers and wonder “wait, how did they lose 14 games for the month?”
Here they are in alphabetical order.
Carlos Beltran: He had seven home runs in June to give him 19 overall, which is fourth-best in the National League. He hit .330/.384/.610 for the month with 33 hits (with one being a triple) and 18 RBI.
Matt Carpenter: He had an 18-game hitting streak through June 9 and has a 10-game streak in progress now as he hit .342/.402/.532 with 38 hits that included six doubles, three triples and three homers plus 14 RBI. His overall average of .322 is tied for fifth in the NL with that other guy who catches for some team out West.
Allen Craig: Remember when he wasn’t hitting any homers? He hit six in June as part of 35 total hits that drove in 26 runs. For the month he hit .330/.357/.528. His 63 total RBI are second in the National League and he’s seventh in batting average at .318 overall.
David Freese: He began June with a 10-game hitting streak, which grew to 20 games before ending on June 12. For the month he hit .319/.390/.479 with 30 hits that included four doubles, a triple (against the Rangers, no less!) and three homers plus 12 RBI.
Joe Kelly: His record was actually 0-1 but in six games and 18 2/3 innings he compiled an 0.96 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and opponents only hit .206 against him.
Yadier Molina: Our May BAMF continued to excel in June, hitting .330/.374/.540 for the month with 17 RBI, 33 total hits including three homers (which doubled his total for year to six) and 12 doubles. He leads the NL in hitting with a .345 average and in doubles with 26.
Kevin Siegrist: Yet another rookie pitcher with a sparkling debut. He’s thrown 10 innings in 10 games, compiling 13 strikeouts while allowing only two hits for an ERA of 0.00 and 0.50 WHIP with opposing batters hitting only .063 against him.
Adam Wainwright: He was 4-2 for the month with two complete games and 45 strikeouts in 45 2/3 inning pitched with a 1.77 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and .220 BAA.