You like it when luck gets on your side. No one hit the ball with a ton of authority in the 5 run 5th inning save Scott Rolen. Miles bunted on. Eck got one of his famous slaps to right. Rick Ankiel drove Miles in on a base hit to right. Edmonds singled on a grounder up the middle, then Rolen capped it off with a double over Francouer's head. According to Fangraphs, the Cardinals had slightly below a 20% win expectancy when Aaron Miles came to the plate at the beginning of the inning, when he came up a 2nd time it was slightly above 80%. What made it seemingly more improbable was that Hudson was 95-1 in his career with 21 no-decisions when given a three-run lead. That sorta stuff couldn't continue forever. The funny thing was Russ Springer was credited for a "win", while contributing only .029 of win probability added of the Cardinal victory. It was Ryan Franklin and Jason Isringhausen who did the heavy lifting, who as a duo added 39.1% in win expectancy. To top it off, the Cubs and Brewers lost yesterday to leave the Cards 3 games back.
On the negative side, the pitching, which deserves most of the credit of getting the Cardinals back in the race for the pennant, has started to go back to their bad ways. Kip Wells was absolutely dreadful the other night, while Reyes and Piñeiro have had some tough breaks but shown their vulnerability. Hopefully that'll all turn around with their new found ace on the mound today. I find it a tad two-faced that some fans knock DD and TLR for not developing young pitchers given the overall failure with Reyes up to this point, yet on the other hand Wainwright has absolutely blossomed under their watch as the season has progressed. From the beginning of the season to the end of June, Adam had a 4.81 ERA with a 5.2 K/9 rate, a 3.5 BB/9 rate and a 6-7 record. Over his last 9 games the Wagonmaker has made some pretty big strides. He's fanning 7.8/9IP, has cut down his walks to 2.7/9IP and has a 2.66 ERA. That's only 9 games, but that's a pretty Carpenter-esque little run of success there. It's fun seeing Adam come into his own.