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Randal Grichuk's Thunder Strikes Twice And The Cardinals Win In 13 on August 5th, 2015

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Randal Grichuk had a ground rule double and a home run and ended up being the deciding factor on offense in a tight defense and pitching battle. The Cardinal's bullpen was staunch and Matt Carpenter also chipped in with a home run.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Martinez entered the game with a 3.39 SIERA, 3.24 xFIP, and a 2.61 ERA in over 124 IP. And he had another good but maybe not great game. He allowed 1 run. It may have been only over 5 innings, but a 7.2 to 5.4 KK/BB is not that great. His ratio on the season is much better: 9.19/3.47.

Three runs were scored by the Reds before this game got too evolved. But in the 6th, Randal Grichuk and Jhonny Peralta drew the Cards to within one run. To begin the inning, Bourjos was hit by a pitch; Matt Carpenter upped his OBP yet again by taking a not so noctambulous walk; Randal Grichuk upped his TB by hitting a double; and Peralta singled in The Grich, a most gloriously overperforming majestic creature.

Later, Matt Carpenter had another home run to knock out from the leadoff slot, #9 I think it was. The obvious difference between him leading off and hitting in the two hole is in OPS and the other rate stats. Here are comparisons between his main two slots in the batting order:

Matt Carpenter

Season Batting Order G AB PA H 1B 2B 3B HR R RBI BB IBB SO HBP SF SH GDP SB CS AVG
2015 Batting 1st 26 108 120 39 18 13 0 8 25 20 11 2 16 1 0 0 1 1 1 .361
2015 Batting 2nd 69 249 298 56 36 13 1 6 35 33 43 2 64 3 3 0 1 2 1 .225

Season Batting Order BB% K% BB/K AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO BABIP wRC wRAA wOBA wRC+
2015 Batting 1st 9.2 % 13.3 % 0.69 .361 .425 .704 1.129 .343 .369 29 15.4 .474 211
2015 Batting 2nd 14.4 % 21.5 % 0.67 .225 .342 .357 .700 .133 .275 33 0.5 .313 100

His Clutch and WPA ratings are good to great, so it's not like he is preferring to leadoff because he doesn't have to knock in any ribbies, and just get on base. He's superb at situational hitting, no question about it. Interestingly enough though, his BB/K is nearly identical. A crazy difference in BABIP might be the big clue as to what if anything was going on, but I'll leave that to you.

Season Situational BB% K% BB/K AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO BABIP wRC wRAA wOBA wRC+
2015 Bases Empty 12.8 % 20.1 % 0.64 .239 .348 .397 .745 .158 .289 35 4.6 .332 113
2015 Men on Base 12.7 % 17.8 % 0.71 .306 .389 .552 .941 .246 .327 27 10.2 .393 156
2015 Men In Scoring 14.9 % 22.3 % 0.67 .351 .436 .571 1.008 .221 .418 18 7.8 .415 171

Tonight was more about spectacular pitching and defense, however. Both the Reds and Cardinals flashed the glove with amazing plays by Wong, Hamilton, and Phillips. This game ended up going into extra innings because the bullpens locked down upon the run scoring machinations of each ballclub. Particularly the Cardinals, whose pitchers were light's out:

Pitcher IP H HR ER BB SO pLI WPA
S Maness 2.0 0 0 0 2 0 2.26 .286
T Rosenthal 1.1 0 0 0 1 0 2.16 .216
S Cishek 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 1.66 .118
K Siegrist 1.2 1 0 0 0 3 1.97 .114
C Villanueva 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0.54 .039
J Broxton 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0.48 .034

For the Reds bullpen, Jumbo Diaz was brutally effective with 5 K in 2 IP for a .236 WPA. Aroldis Chapman sliced through the Cardinals lineup again like a razor blade through warm butter and had 3 K in one inning.

The next occasion where there was actual scoring was by the Cardinals in the 13th. Earlier in this game, Randal Grichuk was robbed on a home run that was clearly on the top of the wall on the yellow line, but bounced back onto the field. They made it a ground rule double despite reviewing the play, which made many fans scratch their heads and ask for a re-replay. But in true epic Grichuk fashion, he hit a home run later that was well over the stupid yellow line at the top of the wall. 4-3 Cards.

The Grich was the Player of the Game in this one. It took 13 innings for Randal to complete his heroic quest, and it was a frustrating-at-times battle of grinding attenuation between two once hot rivals. But despite a Reds win the night before, they were unable to build any kind of momentum, not quite being able to outduel the Cardinals good pitching and similarly solid if not elite defense.


Source: FanGraphs

Notes

  • the strikezone was abnormally and consistently narrow
  • Pete Kozma had a solid pinch hit but no one knocked him in
  • there were a total of 28 strikeouts in this game, the Reds winning this matchup 15-13
  • Heyward, Peralta, Molina, Moss, Piscotty, and Wong were a combined 2 for 28 AB

Tune in tomorrow at 11:35am CST for an early outing, morning for me. Wacha takes the mound vs someone by the last name of Lorenzen, who appears to not be a very good pitcher at 5.17 SIERA.