As predicted, the Brewers were able to “steal” one of the three games in St. Louis, though not particularly impressively. It was exciting stuff, to be sure, as two games went into extra innings, and Adam Wainwright’s game 1 performance was undeniably impressive, even in this new age of bi-weekly perfect games.
And exciting as they were, the series left a bit to be desired as the Brewers really had a good chance to win, particularly following Jim Edmonds’ lead-off double in the 11th inning. However, botched plays all around ensued and no run was scored until the Cardinals sealed it up in the bottom half of the inning.
There are no moral victories, and the Brewers are no further back in the race then they have been at any point this season and are notably absent of any hope beyond “they can’t play this badly, ALL YEAR.”
Let me restate that I will be using some advanced statistics pretty regularly in this blog, and one of the most useful for recapping what happened (not what WILL happen) is WPA, or Win Probability Added. Here is a link to a FanGraphs post that gives a brief rundown of what it is and has links to much more material.
Top Shelf (Star of the Series): None
No Brewers hitter had a WPA over .100 which really should be the baseline for any series award, since single game performances of .140 and up are just about commonplace. The biggest reason for the lowly offensive numbers: Wainwright, who managed to allow only TWO Brewer hitters a positive WPA, as Rickie Weeks and Cory Hart both had .015 on the day. Over the final two games the biggest standout was probably Casey McGehee, but he was also one of the worst victims from Friday night, accumulating a -.090 WPA.
It was bad, Tommy, REAL bad.
On the Rail (Schmoe of the Series): Alcides Escobar (-.222 WPA) and Craig Counsell (-.236 WPA)
Escobar single handedly turned Saturday’s hopeful 11th inning with that botched bunt, that he popped out to first, which alone is enough to earn a spot here when you do absolutely nothing at the plate the rest of the series (1-9). So, he’s a goat.
However, the worst series and game at the plate undeniably belonged to Counsell, who turned in his lousy WPA in only two games and six PA, going 0-6 in a bunch of high leverage situations.
John Axford was asking for a spot here, but redeemed his awful Saturday with an impressive Sunday showing. Carlos Villanueva had a similar situation, just reversed.
There were obviously a ton of managerial decisions that could be questioned here as well, but I’m saving those for a later post, as Ken Macha truly deserves one.
I don’t have a ton to say about this series, since it essentially went as it should have and the two close games, while exciting, just don’t have a key point to focus on, without blasting the bullpen for the 40th straight post.
Mercifully, the Crew have the day off today. We’ll have our series preview for Milwaukee’s home series with Chicago in the next 24 hours or so.
I guess there is a ton you could say about