Almost since his arrival in 2014, Randal Grichuk has been one of the more polarizing players on the St. Louis Cardinals. While most viewed him as an add on in the David Freese trade, his power potential and outfield defense, particularly whether or not he could play center field, were intriguing. As his playing time grew, so too did the resentment from Grichuk detractors. His increased time in the field took away playing time from top prospect and long-anticipated Oscar Taveras and former Angel Peter Bourjos. Now, with Matt Holliday out with a quad injury, Grichuk's playing time isn't just the manager's decision - it is almost the only option (the only other option really is Jay in left with Bourjos in center). But could this incredibly raw, young player polish up into a diamond?
The answer to that question still remains to be seen, but in the meantime Randal Grichuk is becoming one of the more interesting players on the Cardinals. Tonight against the Phillies, Grichuk powered the team to a 10-1 victory, going three-for-five with two home runs and a double. The first home run came in the top of the sixth with the two teams locked in a 1-1 tie. With two on and no out, Grichuk deposited a ball into the center field seats to give the Cardinals a four-run lead. In the top of the eighth, Grichuk scored for the Bridos again, leading off the inning with a double and scoring on a single off the bat of Scruggs. Grichuk homered again in the ninth for good measure, giving the Cardinals their tenth and final run of the night.
After giving up a home run to Cody Asche in the bottom of the second, Lackey shut down the Phillies with relative ease for a final line of seven innings pitched with five hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Randy Choate came in for the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal got some work in the ninth after not pitching for a week.
The rest of scoring is just too much to try to explain, so here:
- Jason Heyward also had a good night. Next Friday I hope to feature the recap around him *sighs
- But seriously, tonight Heyward went 3-5 with a double, stolen base, and two RBI bringing his slashline up to .271/.313/.410, good for a 100 wRC+ (and that is with a .309 BABIP - which is in line with his career average and 5.7% walk rate - which is fiver percentage points lower than his career average).
- Heyward also made a dandy of a play in right field.
- Matt Carpenter was 0-2, but was on base three times with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
- He was also picked off first base by Ruiz, which was annoying.
LIL SCOOTER'S LIL PLAYER OF THE GAME:
This honored distinction goes to John Lackey actually. His .220 WPA leads all players and I guess he did hit a double tonight. Randal Grichuk's .200 WPA is second for the game.
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2015-06-20&team=Phillies&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2015-06-20&team=Phillies&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>
On Sunday Michael Wacha takes on Adam Morgan, who will be making his big league debut at 12:35pm.