Jon Jay shreds NL Central while lifting Cards to first

Jon Jay has a lot of fans in St. Louis. But he shouldn’t expect any Christmas cards with a Pittsburgh return address.

Jay, whose resurgence couldn’t have come at a better time for the unsinkable Redbirds, has worn out the Pirates all year and is a big reason why the club finds itself atop the National League Central Division.

In fact, if the Cardinals played the Pirates in all 19 games remaining this season, you probably wouldn’t hear him complain.

Jay is 22-for-56 against the Bucs in 2013, a .393 average, with five doubles, 10 RBIs and 13 runs scored. He was especially pleased to see Morton on the bump for the Pirates because he beats him like a rented mule.

Jay is 6-for-14 against Morton this season, a .429 average in a small sample size. Morton, who couldn’t finish two innings in Sunday’s game, left due to a foot injury trailing 5-0. 

You’ll forgive Morton if he wakes up screaming in the middle of the night before trips to Busch; he is 1-4 there with an ERA of about 7. Coming into Sunday’s game, Morton was one of the Bucs’ most effective pitchers recently. He was 3-0 in his last three games and surrendered only two earned runs in 20 innings of work. 

Sunday, not so good. His line reads six hits, five earned runs, and two walks in an inning and two-thirds for an ERA of 27 and a WHIP of nearly 5. Ouch.
Jay and his teammates now face the Milwaukee Brewers, a team, it has been written, that will play a large role in determining who wins the Central title.
Nearly a third of the remaining 19 games are against the Brew Crew, so how does Jay stack up against them?

Well, if he’s lights out against the Pirates, he dims them considerably against the Brewers; 16-for-45 for a .356 average with 12 RBIs, two taters and an OPS of .983. Curiously, he has also been hit three times by Brewers pitchers, perhaps to express their displeasure at his success against them.

The season ends with three against the Chicago Cubs, Jay’s third favorite team in the Central. Against the Northsiders, Jay is 19-for-55 (.345) with five doubles, a homer and 9 RBIs. And has been hit twice.

In light of that, perhaps Jay should not expect too many Christmas cards from anywhere other than St. Louis, which, no doubt, is fine with him.  

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