How's it look?
STL Lineup at CHI (5/2): Carpenter, 3b; Peralta, ss; Holliday, lf; Craig, 1b; Molina, c; Jay, cf; Grichuk, rf; Ellis, 2b; Wainwright, rhp.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 2, 2014
Randal Grichuk gets the start out in centerfield, with Allen Craig at first and Matt Adams sitting against the lefty. I approve. Mark Ellis will get the start at second base in favor of left-handed hitting Greg Garcia and Daniel Danscaso. I also approve. This is how this should work.
Starlin Castro has been pushed to the cleanup spot for the Cubbies in an attempt to get more production out of the spot.
The top of the first starts off with a rare Matt Carpenter strikeout. I say rare, because Marp probably has the best batting eye on the team, yet leads the team in Ks. That being said, the pitch he stuck out on appeared to be off the plate. Jhonny Peralta is batting in the two hole today and flew out centerfield. Matt Holliday popped up for out number three.
The bottom of the first begins with a pretty dumb slap hit to left field by the Cubs leadoff man, Emilio Bonifacio. This is followed by another dumb double down the line. Matheny goes out to argue, because fair/foul in the infield is not reviewable. Everyone, including DannyMac and Timmy, believe it was foul. This comes back to haunt the Cardinals, as Anthony Rizzo would line a single to left center, plating two. Waino is able to limit the damage with a double play ball off the bat of Castro, and a flyball to right field from Nate Schierholtz. I hope Waino is able to settle in and keep the Cubs off the board for the remainder of the game, because he looks sloppy right now.
Cold, sloppy, gross. I am either describing the weather at Wrigley, or the game, take your pick. Wainwright has only surrendered 12 runs all year. 10 have come against the Cubs. Whenever Shelby Miller, or Joe Kelly, or Lance Lynn pitch poorly, I can accept it and move on.
But not Adam.
At one point, I just wanted to cry for him. He didn't exactly get shelled, but he got hit hard, giving up 6 runs in 5 innings off ten hits and two walks. Waino struggled today, with command, with control. He just looked, well flat.
Losing Wainwright starts is saddening.— Aaron Hill (@AaronBaronHill) May 2, 2014
After getting into trouble again in the bottom of the second, Adam was able to escape with no runs. The offense would then mount its comeback when Randal Grichuk would lead off the inning with a double. A TOOTBLAN would have Grichuk thrown out, but leave Mark Ellis on first base to be sacrificed over by Waino, and then plated by a two out single by Matt Carpenter. Carp worked a 10 or so pitch at bat, finally driving the ball over the infield and advancing to second on the ill advised throw home. Carpenter would come around to score on a Jhonny Peralta double. 2 - 2 game.
The wheels would fall off the wagon in the bottom of the third for Adam. Waino would sandwich a Starlin Castro single with walks to Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholz to load the bases with one out. A Ryan Sweeney groundout and a Wellington Castillo double would score all three runners. Cubs lead 5 - 2.
The Cardinals would try to rally back in the top of the fourth with a leadoff Yadier Molina double. After advancing to third on a Jon Jay groundout, Molina would score on a throwing error by Starlin Castro. The lead would be cut to two and then immediately pushed back to three in the next half of the frame on a Rizzo homerun. This homerun would prove to be the decider.
At one point Matt Holliday almost murdered a man. Somewhere between the fourth and eighth inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinals would try to push back. Carpenter would work a walk and score on a Jhonny Peralta homerun. Allen Craig would hit a ball that looked like it would find a gap, but was run down by Ryan Sweeney. But this out would come at a cost. Sweeney was injured on the play, in what appears to be a pulled hamstring. He would be replaced in the lineup by Darwin Barney, with second baseman Emilio Bonifacio moving to centerfield.
Kevin Siegrist mowed down the Cubby lineup in the bottom of the 8th, working around a Castillo one out double. The Cardinals would fall quietly in the top of the ninth 1-2-3.
TWEET/GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE GAME
Adam Wainwright Quote of the Game:
"If you throw a ball into a honeyhole to a big, strong, guy, it's gunna get hit."
Here is a win expectancy graph.
LIL SCOOTER'S PAIN IN THE ASS OF THE GAME:
This without doubt goes to Wellington Castillo, which is just a ridiculous name, with .220 WPA, leading everyone. Castillo went 3 - 4 with two doubles and two RBI.
Runs Matted In: 1 (Carpenter)
Matts Batted In: 2 (Carpenter)
Matts Matted In: 0
Editor's note: Due to a scheduling mix-up, Dr. Howl created a recap as well. For a second viewpoint, here's his.
Game Recap For Friday, May 2nd: Wainwright Off In Loss To Cubbies
Wrigley Field defeats St. Louis Cardinals 6-5
I say Wrigley Field defeats the St. Louis Cardinals for 2 main reasons: it being the 100th anniversary of the existence of the (un)friendly confines; and pitching in this weather is no fun at all, I'd imagine. Also, Cubs fans have been much more loud and bodacious about Wrigley Field in recent years, rather than about the team on the field.
I've attended games like today's, and it is not a pleasant experience sitting near a cold Lake Michigan early in the season, often in the shade of ancient seating overhead, and the scent of dead dreams and urine all around.
Listened to Mike Shannon today for the first time this season because the game occurred while at work. A damp and cool day at Wrigley and in Chicago, while not raining it had been misting off and on. Since Lake Michigan froze over this year, the weather has been unseasonably chilly and unpleasant in Chitown.
Travis Wood cruised through the Cardinals lineup in the first like a hot knife through warm butter though. In the bottom of the first, the ump made an apparently obvious horrible call, going by Mike Shannon's reaction. But Matheny does not challenge it. Eventually Shannon figures out that the ball hit the bag at first base... and the replay is inconclusive. Not sure if that play mattered or not, but it was lost in the echoes of eternity... my guess was that it was probably a legit call.
What seemed to be a very dangerous inning was erased by a ground into double play by Starlin Castro, but not before the damage was done, as the Cubs scored 2 runs in the first on 3 consecutive hits.
The Cardinals went quietly again in the 2nd inning: Craig, Molina, and Jay couldn't get it done vs. Wood. Wainwright was not in top form today, to put it lightly. However, Adam was able to get out of a jam with runners on 2nd and 3rd to keep the team in the game.
The Cardinals finally got a hit in the 3rd with a hard hit Grichuk double. And Matt Carpenter got the job done with an RBI. Hungry for more runs batted in, Peralta knocked in Carp the younger to tie the game.
In the bottom of the third, Wainwright had already reached 57 pitches after one out. Further proof that Waino was not his usual self was him loading the bases with 2 walks and a single given up. Instead of being an escape artist again, Wainwright allowed a double to Wellington Castillo and the score was 5-2. The most frustrating part is that they scored 3 runs with just 2 hits!
(At one point, Shannon mused that Mike Ditka should go into politics. I can't argue with that, although I think it would be a dumb thing to see happen... not a big fan of celebrity politicians I must admit. /politics)
Wainwright finally had an A.D.A.M.-esque inning in the 4th. But then Rizzo connected with one in the fifth to put the Cubs up 6-3. The game became rather boring and quiet until the 8th inning where Peralta hit a 2 run shot for his 7th of the year. After one of Holliday's patented line drive singles, Craig nearly hit one out but not quite, injuring Cubs center fielder Sweeney in the process.
At this point I missed the rest of the game, bike commuting home from work on the great bike trails on Milwaukee Ave. I'm also about to hit the road, so time is limited and I can't review the rest of the game... I see the Cards lost though, so I didn't miss anything I guess.
While it seems that the Cardinals are never truly bested by the Cubs at Wrigley even when they lose there (often seems that the Cardinals just underperform there), the Cardinals have looked this way a number of times this season. I don't know what it is, but intuitively it seems they are not capitalizing on a lot of wins. Part of it is Mike Matheny's at times questionable managing, but the team also seems a bit out of sync for whatever reason. Hopefully some warmer weather will help in the future.
Tomorrow's game is an early one, beginning before noon! Wake up early. I would do the usual gamethread spotlight, but it wasn't super good today, as you'd imagine. Gotta hit the road, hopefully they'll win next Friday!
Peralta added the most win probability to the Cardinals chances today. Jay had the worst effect on the WPA for position players. The opposite of what was expected happened on the pitching front: Wainwright was underwhelming at best today; Travis Wood was about the same. Neither pitcher performed all that well by WPA, but neither were negative influences. The Cubs bullpen were the heroes of the day, despite not being known for being very good.