Cardinals at Reds Recap 4/2: Pitchers duel between Wacha and Cingrani ends in walkoff; user olddomination is prescient.

I know that feel - Andy Lyons

This is what Resident Optimist olddomination posted April 1st:

Cingrani WILL almost no hit us Wednesday (a DREADED LEFTY!!!)

The Cardinals have bowed out of the playoffs the past two years because their pathetic offense can’t hit their way out of a paper sack. Their glorified lineup of singles hitters should scare us into submission once again.

And indeed, that is pretty much exactly what happened! Cingrani only gave up 2 hits, which were both singles. To his credit, Michael Wacha matched the performance with 7 strikeouts and just 1 walk in 6 2/3 innings, but the support wasn't there. The Cardinals threatened a little bit in the 7th when Kolten Wong doubled off of Manny Parra, but Zach Cozart made an absolutely fantastic play off a soft Matt Carpenter liner.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Reds led off with two singles before Cozart bunted them over to 2nd and 3rd base. Then, once again, Mike Matheny made the decision to walk Brayan Peña, which loaded the bases and set up a force play all over the diamond, but this time, instead of a pitcher hitting behind him, he had Chris Heisey. Now, Brayan Peña is a career .257/.292/.358 hitter, and Chris Heisey is a career .254/.307/.433 hitter, so you're trying to get a better hitter out.

In totality, it's not really an egregious decision. It only dropped win expectancy from 83.6% to 82.7%, and given Carlos Martinez's proclivity to either strike out hitters or get the ground ball, it's certainly defensible, especially in gaining the platoon advantage. But I counter: it's Brayan Peña. Just pitch to him.

Day game tomorrow, y'all! Get your browser-switchin' finger ready for work.


Source: FanGraphs

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