Crew holds off Cubs again


In stark contrast to last night’s laugher, the Milwaukee Brewers found themselves in a tight matchup Tuesday, having to hold off the Cubs for a 4-3 victory.
I have to admit, when the game was over and I first went and checked out the FanGraphs’ win probability chart from this game, I thought it was for another game, because for a 4-3 game, it appeared as if the game was lacking both game-altering plays and any real drama.
Here’s the chart, so you can see what I mean:

If the game were a particularly entertaining one, you’d expect to see most of the chart resembling the first three innings, and a closer look at the chart shows that for the 4-3 final line, there really just were not very many big moments. Things got pretty hairy in the Cubs half of the 8th and 9th, but really, that only amounted to one brief moment following Marlon Byrd‘s single in the 8th inning, where the Cubs had  a win expectancy above 25 percent.

It’s probably also worth noting that of the games five biggest WPA changing plays, only one belonged to a Brewer. Peculiar, since Milwaukee was the winning team.

I don’t have any grand thoughts on this, or see it as illustrating some great principle. No, I just find it curious. Here is the Mets-Braves graph from last night, which is what you’d expect to see in a tight game:

Anyway, to discuss the actual events of the game, the most notable performance has the outstanding work of one Chris Narveson, who in 5.2 innings gave up just six hits, one walk and one run, while striking out six. At this point, any successful outing by a Brewers pitcher not named Yovani Gallardo is headline worthy, so we’ll have to give recognition to Kameron Loe as well, in his four outs relieving Zach Braddock and Todd Coffey over the last out of the seventh and a more disquieting, but successful eighth inning.
Prince Fielder‘s RBI single in the third inning was top Brewers play by WPA, worth .134, which essentially was his final WPA output, and the only notable number on the Crew, unless you count Jim Edmonds soft -.122, which was well earned, as Edmonds couldn’t manage a hit in any of the three RISP situations he faced during the game.
Anyway, a good pitching game from a starter and the prospects of a sweep in Chicago have to have Brewer fans excited a bit for today’s contest. While Manny Parra hardly inspires psalms about his greatness, I teased yesterday that Narveson was a longshot to keep the momentum, so I’ll just say that he faces a tough opponent in Ryan Dempster.