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Solo Dingers: How the Cardinals lost to the Brewers - A Recap from May 1, 2017

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Solo homers < Three-run homers

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Here is how the Cardinals scored all of their runs:

Aledmys Díaz homers on a line drive to left field.

Matt Carpenter homers on a fly ball to center field.

Jedd Gyorko homers on a line drive to center field.

Kolten Wong singles on a ground ball to second baseman Jonathan Villar, deflected by pitcher Jacob Barnes. Stephen Piscotty scores. Yadier Molina to second.

Jedd Gyorko homers on a fly ball to right-center field.

Let’s focus on the home runs here. What do they all have in common?

If you guessed that they were all solo shots, you would be correct. If you guessed they were all hit by infielders, you would also be correct, but let’s focus on the first thing. Home runs are fun, a delight even, but if there is no one on base when they happen, the home run goes from being a knockout blow to, like, maybe a punch that kinda lands on the shoulder? I don’t know where I am trying to go with this analogy here, but the point is the impact on the game is severely diminished. Mike Shannon has a frequently used anecdote about Bob Gibson giving up five home runs in game and winning six to five. Solo homers are great, but with no one on base, they are just a quick way to score a run - heck, the pitcher never really even had to sweat.

The three-run homers though? Those are knockout punches, to use my awful analogy from before. Just think about how you felt after Travis Shaw belted a three-run homer in the top of the tenth? A little breathless? Yeah, me too. Like a swift kick to the trachea.

The tenth was just kind of a disaster wasn’t it? It began with a very un-great Kolten Wong error, continued with a questionable intentional walk to Eric Thames (which, by the way, I witnessed in person with the new intentional walk rules and it is confusing - all of a sudden someone is on first base and you are left to piece together how that came to be), and then was capped off by the before-mentioned tater. In a blink, the Cardinals found themselves down seven runs to four and only three outs to work with, this after clawing back down four runs to none to tie the game. Bum deal.

I supposed we could discuss starter Michael Wacha tonight, but why really? He wasn’t terrible in a really obvious way. He went six innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits and walk with five strikeouts. The two-run homer by Jonathan Villar hurt. His team not scoring any runs for the first four innings also hurt.

some tweets:

I’m tired. You are tired. My dog is annoyed at my not giving him enough attention. So with that, I conclude this very terrible recap with a very terrible win expectancy graph...


Source: FanGraphs

Tomorrow Carlos Martínez toes the rubber against Wily Peralta at 7:15 p.m.