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Lackey Lacking In Competence; Kolten Wong Defensive Clinic & Hitting Extravaganza Saves The Day | Game Recap 4.22.15

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Cardinals Win In 9! Including: Chapters 1-3: The Offense & The Terror | Chapters 4-7: Defending The Hold | Chapters 8-9: Redeeming The Contest With Victory

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Chapters 1-3: The Offense and The Terror

The game began with a bang, Matt Carpenter homering again tonight, which was easily forgotten amidst all the action. This was a rather eventful game with 19 hits and cruddy starting pitching, but plenty of big plays too.

After Lackey gave up the 5 run lead, not real early into the game, I began brain"storming" new anagrams for a huge botch-job of an operation; it was maybe not a T.E.S.S., or even close to that, but it was something. I was thinking: mist: mind imploding shit tornado; mips: mental imploding poospray; and other things of that nature. It just seemed like it could be a game that caromed out of control even moreso at any moment, into a spiraling fractal of chaos, who would know could win such a shitshow?

Actually that's more like what it felt like working two jobs the past two weeks (one or them a new startup) and having a busy leisure schedule on top of all that... so tonight's game was supposed to be a fun and entertaining escape from the random madness of every day life. But it was no different. This game started out pretty chaotic for the first three innings, then it became more of a war of attrition: all knotted up at 5-5 for multiple innings.

Call it Operation: Save The Cowboy. Call it what you will. What I call our fifth starter, John Lackey, was not on his game tonight. He seemed ok at first, but he made a pretty big ol' sloth mistake, by not springing towards first base fast enough to get the out, staring questioningly at Matt Adams before covering the bag. It shows how being lost in the moment at a key time can be costly.

Chapters 4-7: Defending The Hold

The bullpen looked good again, defending the hold for Mr. Lackey, who to his credit didn't totally implode, just mostly. Siegrist and Maness were absolute locks, with the highest WPA's outside of Kolten Wong.

Luckily, the offense was alive tonight, despite both Holliday and Jay not getting favorable calls by the ump on two separate occasions apiece, according to https://twitter.com/CardinalsUmp:


That was the most blatantly messed up call vs the Cardinals tonight.

But nothing could stop Kolten Wong on 4/22/15... Mr. Wong had not one, not two, but three really great defensive plays, although the first two were something special. His WPA (win probability effect on this particular game) was far greater than any other player (.336!), even Yadi who also had a great night, and Matt Adams, who disintegrated a baseball into the stands in epic big city fashion. Kolten's home run looked like he was swatting an annoying, large fly.

Chapters 8 & 9: Redeeming The Contest With Victory

Kolten Wong also had a rather effective double down the line tonight, erasing what looked to be the narrative of a Lackey lacking. I was glad that there were 3 home runs for the Cardinals and none for the Nats as well. The Matt Adams home run was particularly crushed to seal the deal with a 420' shot deep into right field, with Closenthal "on" tonight for his 5th save with 2 strikeouts.

Quotables, Notes and Graphs

"5-7-5

… either the weirdest double-play ever or haiku time!

Rosie gets some Ks
Blues score goals at the same time
Tandem mojo’s good!"


The WPA graph looks like a digitally clipped sound file:


Source: FanGraphs


Notes:

  • Kolten Wong had a 3-4 night with 3 RBI.
  • John Lackey did not have the worst WPA of the night, that was Blake Treinen
  • Matt Carpenter walked twice and hit his team leading third home run
  • Two of the Matts batting averages are above .375 so far
  • Jason Heyward was 1 for 5 and was not much of a positive force, having a pretty bad WPA tonight
  • Doug Fister looked rather hittable tonight, but John Lackey looked frustrated and a little lost for the vet

Tune in tomorrow afternoon at 3:05 for what could be a rather difficult pitcher's duel: Wacha at Scherzer!