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Even during his recent tear, Matt Holliday is one of four key Cardinal bats failing to produce in the clutch.
The root of St. Louis' recent struggles with runners in scoring position lies at the core of its offense.
Don't blame the supporting cast. The team's best players are at fault here.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote another article looking at the individual performances of Cardinal hitters with runners in scoring position during July. The numbers aren't pretty.
Matt Holliday was 4-of-19 (.211). Carlos Beltran was 4-for-21 (.190). Yadier Molina was 2-for-14 (.143). Lance Berkman was 1-for-10 (.100). That shakes out to a combined 11-for-64 (.172) with runners in scoring position in July from the team's most important bats.
Miklasz also notes that backup catcher Tony Cruz produced almost as many RBI (7) as Beltran (8) and Holliday (9) in just 12 July at-bats with runners in scoring position. Berkman (2) and Molina (1) fell completely off pace.
How To Fix It
Beltran may need to move back to the No. 2 hole, where he has 11 homers, a .323 batting average, .402 on-base percentage and .699 slugging percentage in 93 at-bats this season. He has been one of the best No. 2 hitters of the modern era, producing a slash line of .296 /.381/.562.
Holliday's struggles with runners in scoring position are even more peculiar. Contrary to popular belief on the message boards, this is not a typical weakness for St. Louis' new three-hole hitter. The slump came during his hottest stretch of the season (.363/.449/.681 with 16 runs, seven homers and 22 RBI in July). Clearly he doesn't need to change much.
While Yadier Molina is no longer hitting at the ridiculous clip he produced in May, July wasn't exactly a down month for him overall either (.288/.337/.475)—although the counting numbers did slip significantly in every category but home runs.
Lance Berkman's struggles are the most understandable as he transitions back from injury.