4.12 Cubs-Cardinals RECAP: Cards finally score runs for Wainwright, win longest game ever

Dilip Vishwanat

In his first two starts of the season, Adam Wainwright was nearly perfect, and had to be, with his teammates only mustering 1 run in those games, combined. Will the Cardinals' offense provide some support for the their ace this afternoon?

How's it look?

Before the game even started, we get our first "¿En serio Matheny?" as light hitting Daniel Descalso gets the start over superior fielders Jhonny Peralta and Pete Kozma. Jon Jay also gets the start in center today, which is less egregious, but puts another crack in the Cardinals defense. It's a bold move, Cotton. Let's see how it pans out.

Things you say when the 1st pitch of the game is put in the seats:
Welp.
At least there was no one on base?
Or possibly this:

Screen_shot_2014-04-12_at_5

The next batter would fly out to right field, but still looked to get solid contact. Anthony Rizzo rolled over on a curveball that might have hung up in the zone a little bit. Nate Schierholtz strikes out swinging to end the inning. Adam Wainwright looks to be struggling a bit locating his curveball. Hopefully he can settle down.

The Cards go quietly in the first with a rare swinging strikeout from Matt Carpenter, a pop up from Kolten Wong, and a sharp groundout from Matt Holliday. Despite the results and his excellent mustache, Carlos Villanueva does not look particulary impressive. I expect the Cards to get on the board in the next couple of innings.

***

The Cardinals would go on to rack up 13 hits and score 10 runs, sending nine to the plate in the second - starting out with a homerun and a big "F that shift" from Matt Adams - and ten in the fourth. Each player in the starting line-up would get a hit today, and 8 of them an RBI (the exception was Mr. RBI Machine himself, Allen Craig, who did make solid contact today, but was unable to drive in a run with the bases loaded and one out). BABIP was mentioned already twice in the post game show, as the Cardinals had many groundballs sneak through the infield and at least two infield hits.

This game featured a new wrinkle as what seemed to be an RBI infield single by Jon Jay was overturned by Cubs manager Rick Renteria's challenge in the bottom of the third. The replay showed the Jay was in fact out at first base, with Starlin Castro making an excellent throw ranging to his left. This was the third out of the inning and kept the score at 4-1.

This would be a big deal as the next inning would bring up the highest leverage situation of the game for the Wainwright. With runners on second and third and no outs, Waino would rely on his best pitch, his curveball, throwing four in the at bat to Ryan Sweeney. Although inconsistent on the day, Waino's signature pitch wouldn't fail him when he needed it most, getting him the strikeout, his sixth of the day, resulting in a 6% change in win expectancy. An RBI groundout by Castro and a strikout that featured about 7 strikes to Darwin Barney would end the threat with the Cards leading 4 - 2.

It all wouldn't really matter though as the Birds would add 5 more in the fourth and 1 more in the 6th to turn the game into a blowout and bring win expectancy up to 99.0%.

LIL SCOOTER LOOKS LIKE A FOOL PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Daniel Descalso, WWII hero, went 2 - 4 with a single and a double, an RBI and 2 runs scored, and .190 WPA. Did I get all the egg off my face?


Source: FanGraphs

MBI: 1, Matt Holliday
RMI: 2, Matt Carpenter (2)
MMI: 2, Matt Adams, Matt Holliday

Tweet/Gamethread Comment of the Game:

Tomorrow's game will decide the series, pitting Michael Wacha against old friend Edwin Jackson. Coverage begins at 1:15 CST and will be broadcast on television on Fox Sports Midwest and WGN and on the radio on KMOX 1120 and WGN 720.

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