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Cardinals vs Brewers 6-3-15, Lackey sinks Nelson

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That's a pretty Win Expectancy graph.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Everything went bad for Jimmy Nelson from the start. Kolten Wong continued his breakout season with a leadoff double followed by an infield single by the one, the only Matt Carpenter and a Holliwalk to load the bases. Infield singles are somewhat rare birds, especially by someone not necessarily known for their speed, such as Carp, but nonetheless, luck isn't really important when you're facing Jhonny Peralta with the bases loaded and no outs... in the first.

Jhonny (I recently learned the 'h' is there as a weird inside-grammar thing for people who want a hard J, but speak a language that banned such a deviant sounding letter) kept it simple with a single to score Kolten and Grichuk summoned the dark arts passed down to him by Peter Kozma to force an error at third base by Hector Gomez. The fortuity continued with a single by Reynolds before Jimmy was able to record his first outs of the game with sacrifice flies by Molina and Heyward. The score was 5-0 when Admiral Nelson locked eyes with his nemesis, one John Lackey, realizing this was going to be a grueling and painful afternoon.

Nelson was able to induce a 1-2-3 inning from the top of the Cardinals lineup, but still entered the third down those 5 runs as Lackey blanked the Brewers through 2 on a pair of singles and a walk.

In the third, I didn't start Gerard Parra, but the Brewers did, thus benefiting from the solo home run he hit to bring the score to 5-1. Jimmy Nelson had another 1-2-3 inning striking out both Grichuk and Reynolds seemingly now immunized to Kozmagic.

Lackey wasn't able to put down the Brewers in order in the fourth because of an error by Matt Carpenter, but escaped without any real damage, which is more than Nelson can say in the frame as the light hitting Cardinals once again laced together three singles and a walk to score Molina and Heyward.

Nelson's final line was 5 innings of 7 run ball on 7 hits and 2 walks against 5 strikeouts. He got pulled with 84 pitches thrown and seems to have been rather ineffective.  Neil Cotts, Will Smith and Corey Knebel finished out the 8 innings of Brewers pitching with no more damage, but the 7 runs was plenty to cushion the Cardinals lead despite a small rally on the part of the Brewers.

Lackey ended his day with 7 IP 3 runs on 10 hits and 1 BB against 5 strikeouts as well. The difference is that he of the veteran savvy was able to spread those hits across his innings more evenly and didn't let the two Cardinal errors sink him.

Maness, Harris and Rosie were able to close out the Brewers with Rosie only being necessary because Lieutenant Harris baked a savery cake in the 9th.

Some peeps wanted more graphs and stuff, so I bring the goods.

Pretty Win Expectancy graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Brooks Baseball brings the pitch tracking: