With a game to go in July, the St. Louis Cardinals have a 14-10 record this month. Unfortunately, they have lost ground to the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central Division. They trailed the Reds by 3.5 games at the end of June, but the Reds have taken off in July, winning 18 of 24 games.
Still, the Cardinals have seen some very good performances in July, and the team is still positioned to make a run at a playoff spot in the National League. Here are four players who turned in great Julys for St. Louis.
David Freese, 3rd base - Freese has had a bit of an up and down 2012. It's worth remembering that he has not played a full season in the major leagues yet. He came on very strong in July, and he made his first All-Star team earlier this month. Freese is blistering the ball to the tune of a .463 average in July. He has a hit in all but three of his 21 games this month, and he's collected eight multi-hit games. His overall average has shot from .280 to .316. Freese currently has a ten-game hitting streak.
Matt Holliday, of - Holliday keeps coming on strong. Like Freese, he was a member of the NL All-Star team in Kansas City. Holliday has hit .360 in July, with 13 extra-base hits and an impressive OPS of 1.102. Holliday started July with a 12-hame hitting streak (15 overall, counting three games in June). His .321 average leads the team and is currently sixth in the National League. Holliday stands in the top seven in the NL in batting average, hits, runs, walks, RBIs and OPS.
Kyle Lohse, SP - Lohse was amazingly consistent in July. He started five games and won three of them against no losses. Lohse pitched 34 and a third innings and allowed nine earned runs for an ERA of 2.36. He struck out 20 and walked five. His overall ERA of 2.71 is 5th in the league. Lohse is 10-2, but in truth could easily have 3-4 more wins with just a little more offensive support.
Mitchell Boggs, RP - It's hard to get a lot of league-wide notice as a middle relief pitcher, but Boggs is having a terrific year for the Cardinals. In 12 July appearances Boggs allowed exactly zero runs. It's pretty tough to top an ERA of 0.00 for a month. Boggs had four holds and also picked up a win on July 8 against the Miami Marlins. The Cardinals have been getting better results from their bullpen lately, but Boggs has been great since the start of the year. His ERA has never topped 2.70 at any time this year, and it's now a miniscule 1.65.
A native of St. Louis, Brad Boeker has rooted for the Cardinals for over 40 years.
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