Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Recap: Brewers 3, Cardinals 2

Observations after a game in which the Cardinals ran when they shouldn’t have and didn’t when they should’ve:

  • Credit the Cardinal batters, who coaxed four walks from Zack Greinke, as many as he had allowed in four starts coming in.
  • Mike Matheny had Jon Jay — who has a .441 OBP — sac bunt in the first inning. Perhaps Matheny isn’t so different from his predecessor, after all.
  • Matt Holiday was caught stealing in the third, a -.021 WPA play. That running game is tenuously close to worthless.
  • We’ll presume all those Cardinal fans who boo Ryan Braun also boo JC Romero and Mark McGwire. Right?
  • Jaime Garcia isn’t a bad hitter, as evidenced by his hits in the fifth and sixth, which is why we liked his failed sac bunt even less.
  • Garcia, et al lowered the staff’s best-in-baseball walk rate from 2.01 BB/9 to 1.97.
  • For our money, Carlos Gomez is one of the most annoying players in the game. Witness the gratuitous slide at home in the sixth inning with no play and the bat flip on his medium-deep flyout to left field in the seventh.
  •’s Jennifer Langosch: “Blame could be widely dispersed, as the Cardinals’ offense went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.” Derrick Goold adds, “His [Garcia’s] quality start pushed the Cardinals streak to nine consecutive quality starts by the rotation.” As if the loss itself weren’t bad enough!
  • Langosch also unwittingly points to another flawed way of looking at the game: “Rather than tally his 14th RBI and push the Cardinals’ lead to two, Holliday was charged with an at-bat.” What his teammates do or don’t do shouldn’t change what Holliday did in his plate appearance.
  • To his credit, Garcia manned up with responsibility: “That was terrible baserunning. That shouldn’t be allowed. It’s the first time it’s ever happened to me. I’ll learn from that.” We’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Most people acknowledge that what happens in spring training isn’t necessarily going to work the same way in the regular season (e.g., Tony Cruz‘s .375 BA). One might add the Cardinals’ delayed double-steal trick.
  • Matt Carpenter — a.k.a. Meatstick Jr. — just keeps hitting. It’s too bad that the game-ending caught stealing took the bat out of his bare hands.
  • If you’re willing to bunt with Jon Jay in the first inning in a tie game, and you’re willing to do the delayed-steal trick in the ninth when you are down a run, why wouldn’t you bunt then?
  • So Jon Jay didn’t get credit for a double, even though he wound up on second base after his hit and the Brewers did not receive an error. In the immortal words of Mike LaFontaine, wha’ happen?
  • Giving up three outs in the span of two batters has to be the fastest zeroing out of a 65% win expectancy that we’ve seen in a while. Come to think of it, that’s a pretty decent metric for measuring a choke.

2 Responses to “Recap: Brewers 3, Cardinals 2”

  1. breakyunit Says:

    I don’t understand why you would try the delayed-steal before a squeeze bunt. Don’t have any data, but I’d think a delayed-steal is less likely to work than laying down a decent bunt. Also, I don’t know why you’d try either with two strikes and 1 out because of a stike-em out, throw-em out like what happened.

  2. EFitz Says:

    If the win expectancy was 65%, I wonder what the at-least-tying-the-game-and-sending-it-to-extra-innings expectancy was. Maybe running the play four times in spring training was the biggest mistake, because it seems like Lucroy knew it was coming.

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