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The Cardinals Strive For 5 Straight Vs The Brewers At Home But Come Up Short

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Cardinals bats quiet as Leake allowed 4 and the bullpen remained stalwart. At least there was another pinch hit home run! 4 so far this season already... Rosenthal was deployed in a tie game but gave up a 3 run home run which the Cardinals were not able to recover from.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Lineups

MILWAUKEE BREWERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Domingo Santana - RF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Scooter Gennett - 2B Jeremy Hazelbaker - LF
Ryan Braun - RF Matt Holliday -1B
Jonathan Lucroy - C Stephen Piscotty - RF
Chris Carter - 1B Randal Grichuk - CF
Colin Walsh - 3B Yadier Molina - C
Ramon Flores - CF Jedd Gyorko - 2B
Yadiel Rivera - SS Aledmys Diaz - SS
Chase Anderson - RHP Mike Leake - RHP

I had a feeling the Cardinals were going to lose all day, and unfortunately they did just that. Mike Leake was batted around a little bit, better than his Cardinal debut but he did give up 4 runs to the not so great 2016 Milwaukee squad.

This game had more bad defense on the Cardinals opponents' part, but the Cardinals also looked pretty bad on defense for, well, I already forget how many times it has looked bad in only 8 games, it's that bad.

I know errors don't mean a whole lot, but still, the Cardinals do have the most errors in the major leagues. And after seeing the Braves and Brewers play, that's aggravating. That said, the Pirates have nearly as many as the Cards. Being that UZR is meaningless after 8 games, I'll just mention that so far they are at zero, so not negative like some teams (the Cubs oddly enough are worse than the Cards and Pirates even though they haven't been making errors... again, just including this as a novelty).

What happened

Leake gave up a run in the first when Jonathan Lucroy hit a ground rule double and notched an RBI. The Cardinals answered with a 2 out Matt Holliday double, Piscotty on base through error, a ripped down the line Randal Grichuk double, and a Yadier Molina liner which made it 3 to 1 Cardinals. Things were looking good.

However, good was not the case as the Cardinals bats went silent for much of the rest of the game (sometimes silence is definitely not golden). Chase Anderson had himself a nice start tonight. It wasn't until the 4th that the Brewcrew were able to muster any runs. Jonathan Lucroy was not done with Leake, kicking off the fourth with a line drive single to left. It looked like this might not've been a problem but Lucroy was able to circle the bases because of 2 ground outs in a row and a Ramon Flores single which scored him from third.

The Cardinals were unable to answer like they did in the first, going quickly 1-2-3. At least Grichuk, Gyorko, and Molina all made contact in their outs. The 5th inning brought about more Jonathan Lucroy-ing who had Mike Leake all figured out. He rapped another single, and the Brewers slugger Cris Carter doubled to right with a screamer which resulted in the score being 4-3 Milwaukee.

I won't bore you with the details of the next part of the game, except that Oh looks oh so good in a Cardinal uniform. The acquisition of Stone Buddha made the offseason more palatable. It would seem so far that he may even be able to win back his other nickname, Final Boss, especially when considering Rosenthal blew the save tonight.

OK ok, yeah, I am getting ahead of myself there but Stone Buddha has no ERA, and a 1.98 FIP with 9 strikeouts in 4.2 IP. In other 2016 news, the Brewers have a shiny new shortstop Yadiel Rivera who seems like he might be quite good. Speaking of shiny new shortstops, Aledmys has cooled off to 244 wRC+.

BACK TO THE GAME, enough 7th inning stretching. After the boring part of the game, the Cardinals deployed Brandon Moss as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning and tied the game with a sharply hit solo home run which went into the center field bleachers. I really thought it was going to go into extra innings at that point, but....

Trevor Rosenthal gave up a 2 run home run in the 9th. I thought maybe he was doing his Rosenhausen impression and just toying with us, but no he was not. Domingo Santana, the Brewers leadoff hitter right fielder, planted a Rosie pitch well into the stands. To end the game, Yadier Molina added another single to his stats making it a decent night at the plate for Yadi. He's at 91 wRC+ for the season, hopefully he can build on that.

+Pluses+

  • Yadi had a nice game at the plate. He was 2 for 4 and had one of the RBI of the night.
  • The Cardinals made it a game, only lost by 2 runs and scored 4 times, which makes it an easier loss to take than if they only scored 1 run or none.
  • Seung is Oh so good. Rest of bullpen aside from Rosenthal did great.
  • Grichuk lead the Cardinals starters in WPA at .115. Brandon Moss had the highest WPA on the Cards with a pinch hit homer.

-Minuses-

  • Trevor Rosenthal had the worst WPA of the night and lost the game. He has given up 3 hits and walked 3 in only 4 IP this season, and has allowed 3 runs. At least his xFIP is good.
  • Not too great of defense, but then again Holliday at first, Gyorko at second, and Aledmys Diaz at short will win no fielding awards.
  • Mike Leake is leaking runs this year. He brought his ERA down under 7 but he didn't look all that great. He did have a nice breaking pitch that looked pretty wicked earlier in the game. That said, he has given up 15 hits in just over 10 innings. No thanks! Do better, man. You'll be here a while!
  • Holliday had the lowest WPA of the position players, so unclutch.

Here is the game graph page with additional info


Source: FanGraphs