Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Recap: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

Thoughts on the one that got away last night at Wrigley:

  • Well, mark that as the first tough loss of the season.
  • The “more aggressive on the bases” Cardinals lost at least four baserunners needlessly, including two caught stealing and two runners doubled off in the eighth and ninth innings.
  • Yadier Molina needs to flash some Gold Glove defense in that eighth inning, in which he bounced a throw to second on a pitchout and allowed Tony Campana to steal third without a throw.
  • Why did Tyler Greene start and not Daniel Descalso, who hits righties (.306 wOBA) about .030 wOBA points higher than Greene (.277)?
  • We would like to have seen Garcia throw one high and tight on the pitcher sac bunting in the third. A little toughness goes a long way, and Garza looked so comfortable that he might have been taking batting practice.
  • All seven of Chicago’s hits were ground balls.
  • If we were managing, we’d have an automatic hook for any pitcher who walked two in the ninth inning of a close game. It’s one thing for your closer to walk a batter. It’s another for him to walk two. But you’re not going to get much more proof that your guy doesn’t have it than when he walks his second batter on four pitches. A manager has very little to do with the outcome of most games. In some cases, however, like last night’s game, decisions (or lack thereof) made in close affairs can play a big role. Mike Matheny perhaps got caught resting on Motte’s laurels (no one was warming when Motte got into trouble). Belief in the infallibility of your “closer” is just one of several reasons not to fall into autopilot mode with relievers.
  • Joe Mather beat Motte on an 85-mph slider/cutter, not exactly Motte’s best pitch. Whether Molina or Motte called it, it was a poor decision. No Cub batter had been able to do anything more than foul off Motte’s fastballs; on a 2-2 count, why not finish off Mather with a heater? (Answer: Because Motte had poor command of his fastball.)
  • Derrick Goold writes that “With one swing, Mather shattered what was a gem pitched by Cardinals’ starter Jaime Garcia.” How does what Mather did in the ninth inning with Garcia on the bench change Garcia’s gem?

6 Responses to “Recap: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2”

  1. Scott H Says:

    I think your stretching a little too far to prove that a pitchers W/L record doesn’t mean anything. How can a tough loss like that not negate some of the positives before. Sure Garcia pitched great but who cares…..we lost. That is all Goold was saying IMO.

  2. Pip Says:

    Don’t read what I’m not writing: There is a big difference between team wins and losses, which obviously are the most important stat, and pitcher wins and losses, which contain enough variables outside of the pitcher’s control as to render them useless. And I didn’t say that the loss didn’t negate some of the positives; surely it does nullify some of the positive emotions engendered by Jaime’s start.

    If that’s all that Derrick was saying, that’s a very imprecise use of the language, wouldn’t you agree?

  3. Scott H Says:

    Pip – I really like your work but in this case no I don’t agree. You tell me not to read what you don’t write. I would recommend you don’t read what Goold doesn’t write. I didn’t read the article so perhaps there is more to it but I don’t take anymore from that quote than what it says which never mentions Garcia getting a win or lose. Anyways isn’t all that important so look forward to following you during the season.

  4. Pip Says:

    Thanks, Scott — and no problem. I hope that this blog is a place where reasonable minds may disagree. :) I appreciate you taking the time to voice your disagreement and keep me honest!

  5. EFitz Says:

    Maybe this is a good place to vent about the timeless phrase used by baseball announcers: “And [insert pitcher of record] really has a chance to help himself out here.”

    Is that because the pitcher is dependent on earning a W for his all-important record? Doesn’t every batter whoever steps to the plate with a run on base or even with the bases clear and an opportunity to start a rally, doesn’t every such batter have an opportunity to help his team out? Or is it only the pitcher who can help himself?

    I have to say I’m unreasonably defensive of the W for pitchers, but this phrase is among the most annoying of announcers’ common phrases.

  6. Pip Says:

    Great observation, EFitz! I think you’re absolutely right. I’ll add that to my broadcaster peccadillo list! :)

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