The St. Louis Cardinals are on pace to allow the fewest runs in franchise history through a full season.
"Every team struggles to score runs against this team," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said this past weekend. "That's not a news flash. They are really good at preventing runs. They've lapped the rest of baseball in prevention. They are outstanding at it."
The Brewers, for example, have scored three more runs than the Cardinals this season, but trail them by 24 games in the standings. St. Louis leads the National League with a plus-121 run differential.
The Cardinals have scored the 11th-fewest runs in the majors but lead baseball with a 2.60 ERA. They have allowed 319 runs this season, 76 fewer than the next-closest team.
"Last year, people talked about how we don't score a lot of runs, that we play so many tight games, that the bullpen gets worn out," Matt Carpenter said. "We got to the postseason and we were tested and ready for that. It helped us. This is the same thing with this year's team. We've played in close ballgames before. Just scoring runs is not a good plan over the course of the season. You have to play good defense. You have to pitch. That's how you win close games. That's how you lead the league in wins, in my opinion."