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Jaime Garcia Was Pretty Dominant As The Cardinals Win 5-2

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If it was any better of a start, Garcia would've been pushing for a no hitter. Offense was pretty effective with 5 runs which was more than enough today. Rosenthal closed it out for his 6th save.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Lineups and Results

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Matt Carpenter - 3B: 0/2, RBI
Yunel Escobar - 3B: 0/4

Stephen Piscotty - RF: 2/4,RBI

Kole Calhoun - RF: 1/4
Matt Holliday - DH: 0/4
Mike Trout - CF: 0/4!
Brandon Moss - LF: 1/3, R, BB
Albert Pujols - 1B: 1/4, R
Yadier Molina - C: 2/4, R
C.J. Cron - DH: 1/3, 2RBI, BB
Matt Adams - 1B: 1/4, R, RBI
Geovany Soto - C: 1/3, BB
Randal Grichuk - CF: 2/4, R
Johnny Giavotella - 2B: 0/4
Kolten Wong - 2B: 1/3, R, RBI
Shane Robinson - LF: 0/2, BB
Aledmys Diaz - SS: 0/3, RBI
Brendan Ryan - SS: 0/3, 2K
Jaime Garcia - LHP: ?
Matt Shoemaker - RHP: ?

Pregame

Angels starter Matt Shoemaker is not doing well. He is sporting a 5.05 SIERA. Meanwhile, Jaime Garcia has been really quite good again this year with a 3.23 SIERA and a 75 xFIP-. One of the best starters in the NL.

The hitters and fielders for the Angels have only amassed 2.7 fWAR so far. The Cardinals are the 4th best team in MLB by this measure... and I must point out that in the top 4, only one team is not from the NL Central (the damn Red Sox). The Angels have a team 91 wRC+ which is not an atrocity but the Cardinals have rolled out the 2nd best offense in baseball this year.

What Happened

Saw some familiar faces in the first inning. Brendan Ryan made a play that looked like, well, a Brendan Ryan play, except this time he made something difficult look easy. Threw it to Albert Pujols, Cards did not hit into any success.

Jaime made the leadoff hitter Yunel Escobar look rather foolish on the third strike. Kole Calhoun (is there some kind of mystical template for making baseball player names?) flied out. Then Trout stepped to the plate, Jaime vs Mike... Garcia nibbled at the edges of the strikezone then challenged him resulting in a foul. Then more avoidance. Jaime won this battle, the odds were with him I must admit, as pitchers tend to. Lined out to Diaz.

The Cardinals threatened and well, went through with the threat in the 2nd inning. Moss started it all, Adams knocked him in, then Kolten Wong helped out Adams and sent him home with a hit. Grichuk also singled. Since the bases were loaded, Aledmys Diaz just had to manufacture a run through sacrifice and he followed orders, flying out and allowing the runner at third to score. Runners at 2nd and 3rd, Matt Carpenter also sac flied and made it 4-0, sending in Grichuk for the run.

After that initial action, the game settled down and so did Garcia, who made pitching an artform tonight. He seems to keep getting better and better, but I still worry about him. He shut down the Angels through 3.

Randal Grichuk had the look of a hitter trying to reset his game tonight, and he took it step by step with another single. Randal tried to score, but the sequencing was off and he was not able to get home.

In the 4th, Trout got on, but he did not. It was challenged, and it was upended. But to be anti-climatic, Garcia gave up a 2 run home run to something called Cron. At least it wasn't 3.

Cards couldn't put anything together in the 5th. Looked like Piscotty might have gotten back to the bag at first after hitting a single, but he was picked off and it was upheld.

Garcia was shredding the side with his sliders and whatnot, but the Cards were not adding to the total.

4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. Jaime didn't care, he shredded them again, forcing Trout into a GIDP.

7th: Wong was hit by a pitch in the buttock. Diaz flied out. Stephen Piscotty ended up knocking in Wong for an RBI! 5-2.

8th: Cards were set down in order. Siegrest relieved Garcia, which equated to 7IP with 2 runs allowed on a home run for Jaime. Looked great again tonight! Sometimes it seems like he is throwing tiny discs up there to hit. Not easy! Pitched a 4-hitter. Only 1 walk.

9th: Cards did not add more runs. Rosenthal was brought in to dominate. He had to face Trout and Pujols but he was able to get both out without much trouble. It wouldn't be a Rosenthal close without some drama (or is that some form of bias?), so he walked some guys. But he was able to make sure the Cards won and closed the door on the Angels.

+Pluses+

  • Jaime continues to be the ace of the staff, as I thought he would be
  • Wong with highest WPA for Cardinal hitters, he needed a morale boost
  • Grichuk and Piscotty were 2 for 4! This outfield might just work.
  • Garcia had the highest WPA.
  • Cardinals beat a team they should definitely beat, needed more wins.

-Minuses-

  • DH Matt Holliday was terrible, DH is bad mmmkay.
  • Diaz did not rake.
  • Shoemaker.
  • Trout had a bad day, Angels cannot win if that happens (plus for us!).
  • Giavotella was so unclutch, thanks guy.

Graph


Source: FanGraphs