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Game 113 Recap: 56-57

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And we're back under .500 again. It was nice while it lasted ... just like it was a couple of days ago.

I tried my best to be optimistic about Santos going up against the most powerful team in the National League; I might have even managed it. But surely it's not realistic. That said, it was about as good a game as one could expect until the 8th inning. Unless your name is Chris Saenz, you're not going to keep the Cardinals off the board--the best you can hope for is to keep them in single digits and get to their pitching, too.

And, thanks to the continuing red-hotness of Geoff Jenkins and the amazing whatever-deal-with-the-devil-he-made-after-last-year Wes Helms, the Brewers did that, at least until Matt Wise gave up the go-ahead run.

There are all sorts of things one could point to in this game to explain the loss, but my bets are on Ned Yost's choice to pinch-hit Chris Magruder in the 4th. I totally agree with the decision to pinch-hit for Santos--with the bases loaded with one out, down two runs, the importance of that at-bat can hardly be overestimated. The "volatility" of that AB -- a measure that determines the difference in win probability between striking out and going yard -- was 43.1%. That is, the Brewers win probability after Magruder was retired was 34%. Had Magruder taken Morris deep, it would've been 77.1%. Had Magruder singled and driven in a pair to tie the game, that too would've had an enormous impact on the shape of the game.

But why Magruder? I know, Ned, Chris Magruder is always the pinch-hitter if you need to go to somebody before the 7th or 8th inning. After all, you need your best pinch-hitter for that late-inning opportunity that didn't turn out to matter at all! (In case this isn't clear, the italics indicate that I am foaming at the mouth.)

In the 4th inning, Yost's bench options consisted of Bill Hall, Russell Branyan, Chad Moeller, Trent Durrington, and Chris Magruder. You might want to switch up the last couple guys, but that's the order in which I'd want to use them in that spot. Bill Hall didn't even make an appearance last night! This is the same Bill Hall who's OPS is over .800, who has 14 dingers and 24 doubles in just over 300 ABs. Yes--there's a bona-fide 25 HR guy on our bench. And instead, in what could have turned out to be the most important moment of the game, Bill Hall sat and watched while should-be-career-minor-leaguer Chris Magruder grounds out.

Sheesh.

Now, to the graph:

Here are the contributions of your Milwaukee Brewers last night:

  • Batting
  • Clark, -17.4%
  • Weeks, +9.0%
  • Overbay, -3.8%
  • Lee, +0.8%
  • Jenkins, +3.1%
  • Miller, -9.3%
  • Helms, +15.1%
  • Hardy, +3.9%
  • Santos, -0.9%
  • Magruder, -9.4% (in ONE at-bat!)
  • Durrington, -3.4%
  • Branyan, -5.2%

    Pitching
  • Santos, -23.6%
  • Eveland, +11.5%
  • Santana, +8.9%
  • Wise, -33.6
  • de la Rosa, -5.5%

And, for all of you Cardinals fans who are so kind as to stop by, your team's stats are after the jump. Click "read more" at the bottom of this entry to see those.

Brewers fans, tell me. Can anyone defend the use of Magruder? Can anyone defend Magruder getting a semi-important PH at-bat several times a week? Am I missing something?

Cardinals win-probability added:

  • Batting
  • Eckstein, -9.9%
  • Rodriguez, -6.6%
  • Pujols, -0.1% (Pujols's error had a negative 11.5% impact, as well)
  • Edmonds, +12.2%
  • Grudz, +23.3%
  • Nunez, +32.4%
  • Taguchi, +9.4%
  • Mahoney, -17.2% (those inning-ending DPs with men on base'll kill ya)
  • Morris, -5.4%
  • Luna, -3.9%
  • Gall, +1.1%

    Pitching
  • Morris, -2.2%
  • Flores, +8.9%
  • Tavarez, +9.0%
  • Reyes, +1.9%