Friday night's game ended in the early hours of Saturday morning in a heart-racing crescendo. After Matt Adams launched his game-winning home run deep into the night sky, highs were fived, coolers were dumped, yeses were fuc-
Uhhh, anyway it was majestic and beautiful and inspiring. And so it was with palpable anticipation that fans fluttered into the stadium Saturday to see what the Cardinals would do to follow it up.
It is a widely understood fact that sequels just are not as good as the originals, right? That they are usually just a project hastily thrown together to cash in off the success of the original? Saturday night's game fell right in line with that theory. In fact, it was more offensive than just a poor production, really, but, like, one of those sequels were they were unable to produce one of the original actors playing a major character and the whole thing went straight to DVD. It was one of those sequels a person only watches because they were a reallllllly big fan of the original and had somehow deceived him or herself into believing that, hey, Julia Stiles was not really that big of a factor in the success of the movie, right?
After back-to-back starts with ten or more strikeouts and zero walks, a feat only ever accomplished by one Robert Gibson until then, Mike Leake took the hill against Kenta "Funky Cold" Maeda (nailed it) and the Dodgers. Now while Leake had most assuredly earned the praise given to him from those excellent starts, it does come with a disclaimer in that the Brewers and the Padres are not top offensive clubs, unless one is using a different variant of the meaning offensive, in which case that might be true. They both fall in the bottom third of the league in wRC+ and the bottom three in strikeout percentage. That being said, while it may not have been realistic to expect Leake to repeat his past two performances, Saturday night's shellacking was not exactly written in the tea leaves either.
And to be fair to Leake, he probably was not really as bad as his final line shows. One of the runs was unearned and another came from a miscue of the bone-headed variety when no one covered first base on a bunt back to the pitcher, allowing a run to score, a runner to advance to second, and the batter to reach safely. That helped pave the way to the Dodgers four-run third inning, which set the tone for the rest of the game. Leake gave up twelve hits, but only three were for extra bases - two doubles and a solo homer. Clearly Leake was not great, but with a taxed bullpen from the night before, Matheny might have been more inclined to leave him in longer than perhaps he normally would, inflating the poorness a bit.
There is truly not much to recount about the Cardinals offensive efforts tonight. There were times when it felt the Cardinals were about to break opening the scoring, only to hit into a double play or something equally demoralizing. Matt Adams hit his first home run of the game, but second home run of the day, technically, in what was a pretty nice at bat where he battled against and laid off a few tough pitches. That had made the score 4-1 Dodgers and it felt as if the Cardinals might come back, but then they did not. The Dodgers responded with a three spot the following inning to which the Cardinals only responded back with one run (via sacrifice fly from Greg Garcia). Two runs can win some games, but not many, and they certainly are not enough to procure delicious, discounted carbonated beverages from a certain local filling station.
The Cardinals only left three on base and were one-for-two with runners in scoring position. "Boring" might be an understatement, but that is just what this game deserves.
Recapping losses sucks.
LIL SCOOTER'S PEST OF THE GAME/HONORARY ADEINY HECHAVARRIA AWARD
Kenta Maeda leads all players with .174 WPA, so I guess him
A WPA CHART:
- Randal Grichuk had an interesting game going zero-for-three at the plate with a strikeout, but had two outfield assists, both times gunning down would-be runs at home.
- Miguel Socolovich pitched tonight, but he seems to be the likely candidate to be optioned for Mike Mayers a twenty-four year old right hander taken by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 draft who will be making his debut tomorrow.
- Trevor Rosenthal pitched and it was not a catastrophe!
- The Cardinals were wearing the 1956 throwback uniforms tonight - the only year after the Birds on the Bat were installed on the front that the Birds were missing. They were cool!