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St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez tries to lay down a bunt in the third inning during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

Chris Lee

Here is a look at who's hot and who's not for the Cardinals:

TRENDING UP

Carlos Martinez, SP: After his erratic Opening Day performance against the Mets in New York, Martinez has been one of the top pitching performers in the majors. In his last three starts he has allowed just one run in 21 1/3 innings. He walked eight batters in those starts, but he struck out 25 and induced 29 ground-ball outs with his newfound cutter doing its thing. Martinez threw seven shutout innings at Cincinnati Sunday, walking four but allowing just two hits in the 3-2 victory over the Reds.

Jose Martinez, OF: He hit a double and scored a run Sunday, capping his 8-for-16 series that featured four doubles, a homer and seven RBIs. Martinez's batting average is back up to .364 and his on-base plus slugging percentage is surreal at 1.046. The Cardinals hope the wrist injury he suffered in a first-base collision isn't serious.

Yadier Molina, C: Cincinnati fans insist on booing him still. This is not a great idea, since Molina takes such matters seriously. He bounced back from his one-game MLB suspension for that kerfuffle with the Arizona Diamondbacks to go 6 for 16 against the Reds with two homers and six RBIs.

Tommy Pham, OF: He extended his hitting streak to five games Sunday. During that upturn the brash Pham went 10 for 20 with a double, a homer, four walks, six runs scored, three stolen bases and three RBIs. But it's not bragging when you do it.

Bud Norris, RP: It wasn't easy, but he earned saves in two of the four Cardinals victories at Cincinnati while subbing for closer-to-be Greg Holland, who is still scraping off some rust. On one hand, Norris allowed three hits, a walk and an earned run on those games. On the other hand, he struck out five batters while closing out those games.

Andrew Knizner, C: Catchers who can hit are a golden commodity, which explains why Knizner is such a fast-riser in this organization. He produced two doubles, a walk and three RBIs for Double-A Springfield against Frisco Sunday. He is batting .346 this season with a OPS of .991. Last season Knizner, a seventh-round pick from North Carolina State in 2016, hit .279 at Peoria and then leaped over Palm Beach to hit .324 in 51 games for Springfield.

TRENDING DOWN

Kolten Wong, 2B: With handyman Greg Garcia producing in his part-time role and Jedd Gyorko getting healthy, Wong will face competition for at bats. Falling into a 1-for-14 funk while his teammates are raking away at Great American Ball Park does not help. He drew just two walks during that span, so his on-base percentage is down to .261 to go with his dismal .150 batting average.

Matt Carpenter, INF: He has drawn 14 walks in 16 games, including three in the four-game weekend sweep at Cincinnati. But Carpenter went 1 for 14 with seven strikeouts in those games to drive his season average down to .160. He is 2 for 17 with runners on base this season and hitless in 10 at bats with runners in scoring position. His walks are great, since they set the table for run producer Marcell Ozuna, but the Cardinals need more from their No. 3 hitter.

Carson Kelly, C: Molina is logging heavy playing time while showing no signs of slowing down. So with limited at bats available with the Cardinals behind the plate, the team hoped to further develop Kelly's offensive side at Memphis this season. But Kelly has gone the wrong way at the Triple-A level. His batting average sunk to .182. after consecutive 0-for-4 games against the Iowa Cubs over the weekend.

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