Cards offense putting up eye-popping numbers

Cards offense putting up eye-popping numbers

Cards offense putting up eye-popping numbers
ST. LOUIS -- With another dozen runs scored on Wednesday, the Cardinals have now scored a National League-best 135 this season. That is 10 more than the club plated through 24 games last year, when its record was 13-11. St. Louis entered Thursday 16-8 and leading the NL Central by 4 1/2 games.

For a team that has also been carried by its starting pitching, the offensive numbers are, so far, quite incredible.

The Cards are batting .290 as a team, which is 24 points higher than the next best team in the NL. They rank third in the league in homers, first in total bases and first in on-base percentage.

"When everybody in our lineup is going good, we're as good as anybody in baseball," Matt Carpenter said Wednesday night. "There's not an easy out in that lineup."

St. Louis has scored in double digits six times this year, something it did only twice through 24 games in 2011. Fifty-one runs have been scored via home runs, and the Cardinals have outhit opponents in 18 of their games. They've won 16 of those.

The club has tallied 13 hits seven times and has outscored opponents, 60-19, in the first three innings.

"[Hitting coach Mark McGwire] and [assistant hitting coach] John [Mabry] have done a real nice job just keeping it simple," manager Mike Matheny said. "I'm just real impressed with the amount of time they put into the advanced scouting, all the film work and then making sure they're available for each guy individually. It's been impressive to watch."