I told you they’d win at least one game this year. FanGraphs‘ win probability table:

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The Good:

Yadi’s hits have counted so far this season; he’s only had two singles, but they each brought someone across the plate. His RBI single in the fifth inning (.081 WPA) helped him lead the offense (.062).

The Bad:

The offense didn’t help Jaime’s cause today; the hitters combined for negative win probability (-.123).

The Impressive:

Jaime Garcia dominated the game, contributing .623 WPA all by his lonesome. He went the distance, generating 12 ground balls, 3 fly balls, and 4 line drives; the complete game included 4 H, 2 BB, and 9 K.

Commentary:

Today’s game offered about as clear an indication as any that Spring Training numbers offer zero insight into regular season performance. Despite giving up 25 runs (16 earned) in 23.0 IP down in Florida, Jaime’s 2011 regular season debut was a beauty. As Pip (Fungoes) noted on twitter, his Fielding Independent Game Score (FIGS) was 68. For context, his best performance of 2010 netted a 71 FIGS.

Although Theriot picked up an RBI with a single in the eighth inning, his overall offensive contributions were negative (-.014 WPA). Two of his four at-bats were leading off an inning, and he made an out each time.

We’re three games in and the Cardinals have yet to score more than three runs. That’s partly because Albert hasn’t done much damage, but this roster was constructed in such a way to sacrifice defense in order to offer a deeper lineup less reliant on production from Pujols/Holliday/Rasmus. Of course, it’s too early to tell whether Berkman is poised for a bounce back year, Theriot will be able to revert back to his 2008 form, Skip will be luckier, or Freese will stay healthy all season, but the first three games have been less encouraging than, say, the Texas Rangers, who have scored 28 runs in their first three games.

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Andy Beard

Proud STL resident. Baseball enthusiast. Music lover. Theology thinker/reader. MA in Clinical Psych. Never met a pizza I didn't like.

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