By Jose M. Romero
For Fox Deportes
Rafael Furcal went 2-for-12 this past weekend as his St. Louis Cardinals were swept in a three-game series by his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The series was highly atypical of the kind of season Furcal has had hitting. His batting average after Sunday’s game was a scorching .352, and Furcal has been a big reason for the Cardinals’ early season success as the table-setter, the leadoff man.
Before Sunday night’s game, St. Louis led the National League with a .279 team batting average. They were first in the league in hits with 392 and first in RBI with 206. The Cards were second in runs with 212.
In short, the Redbirds hit. And Furcal, now in his 13th season, is their best hitter at the moment.
It’s hard to believe that Furcal is only 34, but he’s had only one subpar hitting season, last year. The Dodgers traded Furcal and $3 million of his $13 million salary to the Cardinals, who have since signed him through 2014.
He had seven hits in 10 at-bats at Arizona earlier this month, and didn’t even play in one of the three games in the series.
“I don’t think one place is better than another,” Furcal said in Spanish. “But I have to thank God that I made good contact (at Chase Field) and got on base a lot of times, and that’s all you need.”
In L.A., Furcal didn’t get his hits until Sunday.
“One has his good series and his bad series,” Furcal said.
Furcal feels blessed for having had a long career, saying he feels God has helped him continue. With the Cardinals, he realizes he’s playing for a franchise with a great deal of tradition.
Well, what can I tell you? To play for a team like this, this is the kind of team you would want to play for,” Furcal said. “It’s a competitive team that takes the field to win and play hard.”
Furcal is part of a clubhouse with eight Latino players on the 25-man roster.
They (the Cardinals) know what they’re doing every year and they find players who can play, and that’s really all that matters,” Furcal said.
Furcal played just 87 games last season and seems to always be an injury risk, but it’s so far, so good for the Dominican Republic native and two-time NL All-Star.