First off, I was not able to watch the game tonight, so I will be encountering this game vicariously through a WPA graph, some pitch f/x charts, and the VEB gamethread. For some odd reason, when I got home from recording at a friend's house, MLB.tv decided not to include this game among the replayable games available. I have no idea why, or have ever had this happen, but alas, I cannot watch the game tonight. And this way the recap will be 3 hrs earlier!
Fangraphs WPA Experience
Matt Holliday spikes up win expectancy by doubling to center, sending Kolten Wong home, who had also doubled. This is one area of the Cardinals offense that is pretty great, tied for 6th in MLB with the Angels with 179 doubles. The Wong/Holliday tandem worked again in the 5th, sending win expectancy to 88.9% with a Kolten single and a Matt home run. Lance Lynn struck out 9 in 6 innings pitched.
Those were the main events, really. The Cardinals pitching may not have been perfect, but they were effective. Besides Matt Holliday, who was the hero of the night, Lynn had the next highest WPA and most among the pitchers. The pitchers were Lynn, Maness, Neshek, and closer Trevor Rosenthal, who took care of the side efficiently. The pitching provided most of the leverage tonight, all with positive WPA and a net .479 average.
The offense was all Matt Holliday, who had 3 RBI and a HR on the night. Jon Jay was next best at 2 for 3, but a distant 2nd by WPA. Wong was the other positive WPA hitter for this game. The other 2 Matts had off nights it appears.
Pitch f/x for starter Lance Lynn
Strikezone Maps (opens in new tab)
Here's where the fun begins, I get to see what everyone did in the gamethread. If I must miss the game, a gamethread is probably the 2nd best. First thing I noticed was the Allen Craig milk carton has been cleverly updated with an Oscar Taveras picture. Which is apt... he should be playing every day now.
Lance Lynn vs Dan Haren was a very even matchup going into the game, and the game proved to be thus.
Anyway, analyzed the gamethread, and at first there wasn't action for a while. Then I thought this was an interesting stat:
So yeah, Allen Craig has been really bad. Oscar Taveras would have to try pretty hard, methinks, to do worse.
There was apparently a clutch K involved, when Lynn was pitching. It is pretty crazy to think that Lynn has one of the most devastating fastballs in MLB. Some Lynnings involve big strikeouts.
That's about it. I promise a better recap next time. I just couldn't watch the game tonight. Next game is at 3:05pm Saturday afternoon. Goofy Joe Kelly (3.87 SIERA) takes on serious Zack Greinke (2.76 SIERA). Both are good pitchers, but Greinke is obviously superior here. The Cards offense will probably need to be called upon in a serious way to win this game.
Will Greinke regress after the all-star break? He is outperforming his career norms. Let's hope that happens and the Cards bats also regress towards where they should be.
Note: at the time of this being submitted for publishing, the Angels vs Mariners game is still not even finished!