Herman Melville once wrote, "There is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid." I agree, and in baseball: There is all the difference in the world between losing a game and winning one.
Glory be is it nice to win.
Waino pitched well except for the third inning--or anyway his poor results occurred in the third. Here's his final line:
- 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K;
- 7 GB, 5 FB (1 IFFB), 6 LD, 96 pitches (66 strikes);
- 6 swinging strikes (2 fastball, 2 curveball, 2 cutter)
Wainwright did a good job of generally getting ahead of hitters and getting to two strikes, but his curveball was sometimes either loopy or left up in the zone. When he used Uncle Charlie as his put-away pitch in the third, the Phils seemed to be looking for it and having no trouble putting solid contact on it. After a leadoff walk, the Phillies strung together three singles in a row to plate three runs. Fortunately, that was all their scoring for the night.
When Waino was able to snap off the curve and keep it down in the zone, he created weak contact, missed bats, and fooled opposing hitters--as for example when he struck out the Phillies' starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson looking for the third out in the fourth. So what if Hellickson is a pitcher--this is the National League, and pitchers still hit!...he said, creating a segue in three two one...
Waino was also NOT too shabby with the bat tonight.
A game-tying three-run country-strong home run. This dinger was surprising and it was wonderful to see.
The pitch was a meatball:
but that lessens my admiration not one bit. Look at this majestic moon shot here:
Big Mac Land!
Adam Wainwright: The cause of and solution to all of (this particular baseball game's) problems.
Interlude, with Pigeon
Besides being itself, baseball is always also a metaphor for other things. Take this pigeon that showed up in the bottom of the first frame tonight:
Fox Sports Midwest was quick to focus in on this, the most chill pigeon. Who was he or she and what was she or he thinking?
Interlude, with Yadi
Let's not forget, as I said last time, what a joy it is to watch Yadier Molina play this game. Hitting-wise, he's got great plate coverage and great contact ability. Look at this absurd pitch he golfed back up the middle for a lead-off single in the fourth:
That is an absurd way to go about hitting, Yadier. Keep it up.
And then in the seventh, after the dinger barrage that I'm going to describe shortly, this happened:
Even old-school players can have fun sometimes. Though it's much easier when your team is hitting five homers in one game.
You know about Wainwright's massive (for a pitcher) home run, but four other Cardinals ALSO socked dingers. In fact, St. Louis went back-to-back twice, I shit you not.
Here are all the dingers socked tonight, along with their statcast data:
- Adam Wainwright (4th inning): 105 mph, 408 feet (Big Mac Land), 32 degrees launch angle, 3-3 score;
- Matt Adams (6th): 106 mph, 422 feet (center), 29 degrees, 4-3 Cards; here's where Big Mayo's go-ahead (game-winning) homer landed:
- Aledmys Diaz (6th): 104 mph, 393 feet (Big Mac Land), 31 degrees, 5-3 Cards;
- Kolten Wong (7th): 94 mph, 343 feet (extreme right field), 35 degrees, 8-3 Cards;
- Randal Grichuk (7th): 108 mph, 443 feet (left center), 21 degrees (Randal also hit a slow grounder to right for a single-turned-double that was apparently 107 mph off the bat--sometimes it's nearly impossible to guess just how hard some of these balls are hit), 9-3 Cards.
- The rest of the Cards' runs were plated by: Stephen Piscotty (2-5), who singled in Grichuk in the 6th, and Brandon Moss (1-5, 2 K), who singled in Piscotty in the 8th: 10-3 Cards.
- Matt Adams bunted for a hit on the first pitch of his first at-bat! Not sure if he would've been safe if the pitcher hadn't bobbled the ball, but it was a very good bunt so maybe Hellickson rushed it because of its quality. Anyway, great job, Smash! Keep smashin them bunts!
- Kolten Wong update [written 8:25pm central] "Wong is struggling: two K's on a high high high fastball and then on a curve. Since he's been hitting poorly lately, i'll couch those two at-bats within his recent schneid. Wong's a millionaire but I feel sorry for him right now."
- Kolten Wong update [written 10:22pm central]: "OFF THE SCHNEID! SWEET RELIEF, HE REALLY LEI'D INTO THAT PITCH! SORRY FOR THAT PUN!"
- Al Hrabosky: "And here's Ryan Howard, a St. Louis native, Howard went to Lafayette High and oh Elder Gods come release these mortals from their massy prisons and take them in Your eldritch embrace. Cthulhu and ye Elder Gods, Come! I can bear this existence no longer!"
Win expectancy graph: