Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals has been having a great season.
He’s batting .400 and has 18 hits in 45 at bats through his first 11 games. He has nine games with at least two hits, including a streak of two hits per game in the past seven games.
So how come Matt Carpenter only has 1.0 Box-Toppers point this season? With his success so far this season, why isn’t he among Box-Toppers overall top 10 ranked players?
That was a question a Box-Toppers reader (@TexasCardsFan1 on Twitter) had as well:
@BoxToppers Matt Carpenter has 5 consecutive 2 hit games and 8 for season already and not in Top 10? Then it's bullshit
Here’s an explanation. Box-Toppers rewards only one player for a team’s win. There is only one player on a team who earns Player of the Game honors and that’s the person deemed to most help his team win the game.
In the Cardinals’ eight wins this season, Carpenter has two hits per game in seven of them. However, in only one of them—Sunday, April 19’s 2-1 win over the Reds—has Carpenter earned Player of the Game honors.
In the other six games, Carpenter was simply beaten out as Player of the Game by a Cardinal teammate.
Here is a look at Carpenter’s performance in each of the Cardinals wins in which he has at least two hits. Also shown is the Cardinals player who earned Player of the Game honors, based on higher Box-Toppers game score.
|MLB||7.0||Cardinals||Adam Wainwright (W, 1-0)||-||-||-||-||-||-||6.0||5||0||0||0||6|
|3.0||Cardinals||Matt Carpenter 3B||5||2||2||4||1||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|POG||0.0||Cardinals||Yadier Molina C||4||0||3||1||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|0.0||Cardinals||Matt Carpenter 3B||4||1||2||1||0||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|NL||9.0||Cardinals||John Lackey (W, 1-0)||-||-||-||-||-||-||7.0||5||0||0||1||8|
|0.0||Cardinals||Matt Carpenter 3B||4||1||2||1||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|POG||3.0||Cardinals||Michael Wacha (W, 2-0)||-||-||-||-||-||-||7.0||5||1||1||1||4|
|0.0||Cardinals||Matt Carpenter 3B||4||2||2||0||0||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|POG||3.0||Cardinals||Carlos Martinez (W, 1-0)||-||-||-||-||-||-||6.0||3||1||1||2||4|
|-1.0||Cardinals||Matt Carpenter 3B||5||0||2||2||0||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|POG||1.0||Cardinals||Matt Carpenter 3B||3||1||2||1||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1.0||Cardinals||Adam Wainwright (W, 2-1)||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.0||7||1||1||2||4|
|MLB—Overall Player of the Day, NL—NL Player of the Day, POG—Player of the Game|
|`Denotes that the pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.|
While Carpenter has earned Player of the Game honors only once this season (on April 19), he came close two other times. On April 12, he had a Box-Toppers game score of +3, but was beaten out as Player of the Game by starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (Box-Toppers game score +4). And on April 15, Carpenter and catcher Yadier Molina had identical Box-Toppers game scores of 0, but Molina won Player of the Game on a tie-breaker—he had more hits than Carpenter (three vs. two).
On April 19, when Carpenter earned Player of the Game honors, he had a Box-Toppers game score of +1, the same as starting pitcher Adam Wainwright. But Carpenter won Player of the Game on the Box-Toppers tie-breaker in which batters beat pitchers in case of game score ties.
Hitting streaks, like the one Carpenter is on, don’t necessarily translate into big Box-Toppers point totals. In fact, in the three longest hitting streaks since Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995, each player in the streak earned Player of the Game honors only once each.
- In 2005-2006, Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies had a 38-game hitting streak (the final 36 games of 2005 and the first two games of 2006). Over the course of the streak, the Phillies were 21-17 and while Rollins picked up 64 hits during the streak, he was Player of the Game only once, on Sept. 16, 2005, when he was NL Batter of the Day.
- In 2002, Luis Castillo of the Marlins had a 35-game hitting streak. Over the course of the streak, the Marlins were 19-16 and while Castillo had 62 hits during the streak, he was Player of the Game only once, on May 23, 2002.
- In 2006, Chase Utley of the Phillies had a 35-game hitting streak. Over the course of the streak, the Phillies were 17-18. Utley had 62 hits during the streak, but was Player of the Game only once, on July 2, 2006. Utley, in fact, earned 12.0 Box-Toppers points that season, ranking ninth among NL batters. So his pace of earning Box-Toppers points actually slowed during his streak. He earned Box-Toppers points at a rate of 0.028 per game during the 35-game streak. He earned them at a rate of 0.088 per game during his other 125 games.
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.