The St. Louis Cardinals have turned their season around like no other. After stumbling out of the gate after the All-Star Game with a six game skid, the Redbirds have won 24 of their next 29 games. St. Louis now stands only one game below the .500 mark, quite the accomplishment for a club that lost 25 of their first 33 contests this season.
The turnaround could not have occurred without the St. Louis bats’ awakening from their spring and summer slumber. Lou Brock and Orlando Cepeda, who arrived to bolster the lineup in May, have been key components in the Redbird attack the last 28 games. Brock and Cepeda have batted .341 and .343 respectively during the Cardinals’ recent winning ways. Third baseman Charley Smith has provided another solid bat since his return to the lineup in mid June.
The Cardinal pitching staff has been phenomenal during this stretch. The staff is giving up under two earned runs a game which would add up to wins even if the Cardinal bats were still asleep. Bob Gibson is, of course, the staff ace. Southpaws Larry Jaster (4-0; 1.14 ERA in 7 games) and Steve Carlton (3-0; 0.30 ERA in 4 starts) have been untouchable since their second half recalls.