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Cardinals lose Friday in an unusual manner

In Friday night’s Pittsburgh win over St. Louis, an oddity occurred. The Bucs scored two runs and won the game despite not having a run batted in.

Starter Jake Westbrook and reserve catcher Tony Cruz, covering for injured Yadier Molina, were obviously having trouble getting on the same page. Pittsburgh plated two in the fourth inning on what was scored a wild pitch and a passed ball.

It was a new way for the frustrating 2012 Cardinals to taste defeat. In fact, it marked the first time since 1995 that St. Louis lost a game in which their opponent did not have an RBI. In that case, Houston was the recipient in a 1-0 Cardinals defeat.

The last time the Cards lost when the victor had two runs with no RBI was all the way back in 1980. The record of three opponent RBI-less runs scoring in a Cardinals defeat was first set in 1948 and tied the next season.

Friday night was the 18th RBI-less win for an opponent in Cardinals team history, according to the following table provided by researcher Tom Orf.

St. Louis Cardinals opponents with a win but no RBI, team history

8/17/2012 PIT W 2-1 34 31 2 6 1 0 0 0 3 0 5 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 5
9/24/1995 HOU W 1-0 37 34 1 6 1 0 0 0 3 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 8
4/17/1991 MON W 1-0 33 28 1 7 0 0 0 0 4 0 6 0 1 0 0 1 3 1 8
8/17/1988 HOU W 1-0 36 31 1 3 1 1 0 0 5 0 7 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 8
7/7/1986 LAD W 1-0 33 30 1 9 0 0 0 0 2 2 5 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 8
4/8/1982 HOU W 1-0 30 28 1 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 7 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 5
1980-07-03 (1) PHI W 2-1 30 30 2 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1
5/15/1976 SFG W 2-0 43 40 2 9 2 0 0 0 3 0 5 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 8
5/21/1975 SDP W 1-0 29 23 1 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 4
4/27/1971 NYM W 2-1 37 35 2 7 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 8
6/1/1966 LAD W 1-0 30 30 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
5/6/1964 PIT W 1-0 32 28 1 7 1 1 0 0 3 2 9 0 1 0 1 2 0 1 7
1962-07-27 (1) NYM W 1-0 38 33 1 7 0 0 0 0 3 1 7 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 10
4/19/1949 CIN W 3-1 33 32 3 8 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 6
5/21/1948 BSN W 3-1 36 31 3 6 0 1 0 0 3 1 6 0 2 0 3 0 2 0 9
4/28/1945 CIN W 1-0 37 31 1 5 1 0 0 0 5 0 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 10
1924-09-20 (1) BSN W 1-0 28 24 1 5 1 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 2 0 3
5/18/1920 PHI W 1-0 30 29 1 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 2

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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32 Responses to “Cardinals lose Friday in an unusual manner”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    The last two games have been awful. One run per game at home is pathetic.

    • Nutlaw says:

      Beltran, Jay, Schumaker all out of the lineup doesn’t give me a good feeling. No problems with Carpenter playing, but Robinson and Jackson aren’t exactly slump busting bats. Still, resting lefties is fine, I guess.

      I’ve been busy and not catching too many games lately. Has Schumaker’s defense at second really been so bad so as to justify Descalso’s weak bat?

      • crdswmn says:

        Schumaker is Schumaker. He does fine if the ball is hit right at him. Once in a while he makes a play that he doesn’t normally make. His range is still pretty limited. It really is a dilemma because Skip is clearly a better hitter than Descalso, though his extremely high BABIP makes him look better than he really is, which exacerbates the issue. I told a friend last night that starting Skip for a short while and letting him ride his high BABIP wouldn’t be the worst thing, at least until he regresses. His defensive numbers get worse the more innings he plays (at least that’s what his history shows) so I wouldn’t push it too far.

        This is only my opinion, of course.

      • blingboy says:

        I am not the big expert, but looking at 2012 defensive metrics, Skip appears to be a better defensive second baseman than Furcal is a defensive SS.

        • crdswmn says:

          The way I understand it is that defensive metrics require a larger sample size than offensive ones. Typically 3 years of data are used with the most recent completed year weighted a little more. So you would need to look at 2009, 2010 and 2011. I do not know the formula for weighting the most recent year.

          Furcal’s UZR/150 numbers for the last three completed seasons are 6.3. 6.8 and -9.4

          Skip’s UZR/150 numbers for the last three completed seasons are -8.5. -17.2, and -10.0

          Even with the most recent season weighted more, I don’t think you can conclude that Skip is better defensively than Furcal. Clearly Furcal’s defense is not what it used to be. Age and injury have taken its toll.

          I understand, Bling, that you want to believe Skip is better defensively than he is. And defensive metrics are not a perfect indicator, though I believe they are a more accurate indicator than the observing eye. But, it really doesn’t matter what I or anyone else not making playing decisions thinks. Like George Constanza said to Seinfield “It is not a lie, if you believe it”.

          • blingboy says:

            Except that in this case Furcal is declining, while Skip’s 2B defence has improved, so 2009 and 2010 is meaningless. The guys who generated those stats don’t exist anymore.

            • crdswmn says:

              Well, that isn’t the way it works Bling. But you are entitled to see it any way you wish.

              By the way, Skip’s UZR numbers for this year have declined significantly since the last time we had this conversation Bling, He was up over 2 before and now he is almost at 0. As I stated before, the more he plays the worse he gets. His worst UZR rating was in 2010, the year he played the most innings at 2B.

              • blingboy says:

                Well, they should let him play as long as its higher than Furcal’s and his BA is over .300.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Why in the world does Furcal’s defense matter in how much Skip plays? Skip doesn’t play SS.

                  I said I thought Skip should play for a while he is flying high on an inflated BABIP. He will regress, both offensively and defensively. The turning point should be when his defense causes more harm than his offense can overcome.

                  There are sabermetric number crunchers in the FO and no doubt their data is being fed to Mo and Matheny. I would imagine that the data and the conclusions that are drawn from the data by people who know this stuff plays some part in decisions about who plays where and when. I wouldn’t doubt that it has all along.

                  • blingboy says:

                    Well yes, but the point I’ve been harping on is that the number crunchers are using numbers from years ago when Furcal was better and Skip was worse. That’s the whole point. In the hear and now, Skip’s range compared to all second basemen is better than Furcal’s range compared to all shortstops. So I reject the idea that his defense is bad enough to keep his .300 bat on the bench.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      But the numbers crunchers understand the data and what the data proves and how the calculations are made. Just because you reject it, doesn’t mean that they should because they understand the metrics and you don’t.

                      That’s like saying you don’t believe the earth is round because it looks flat to you and you reject 18 centuries of Science.

                    • Nutlaw says:

                      If it helps, I think that you are both partially right. Yes, UZR isn’t a very accurate metric and needs a few years of data to mean anything statistically. And yes, players’ defense will decline with age, sometimes sharply, especially around a player’s mid-thirties. I don’t think that either of you can definitively use UZR to prove your point.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      I’m done arguing about Schumaker period. Bling, or anyone else is entitled to believe Skip belongs in the HOF if they want to. Baseball is something to enjoy, it’s entertainment. You want to see the players you like play. It’s up to the people who are paid to run the ball club to decide who plays in order to win and make money and that’s what they will do. And the fans will get to enjoy bitching about it if they don’t like it.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Nothing wrong with some good old baseball discussion as far as I am concerned. I just hope none of us believe that second base is the primary ailment of this team this year.

                      I wonder how much different the team’s record would be if 1) Greene played every day. 2) Skip played every day. 3) Descalso played every day. My wild guess completely off the top of my head would be +/- two or three games at most.

                      What do you guys think?

                    • crdswmn says:

                      No, I don’t think 2B is our primary ailment. It’s just the one where we can’t seem to get any consistency. I don’t know if Wong is the answer, but we need to get someone there not named Schumaker or Descalso who can play good defense and has a decent bat. Otherwise the bitching and moaning is going to continue, as the recent demonstration of hyperbolic ridiculousness over Schumaker’s absence from the lineup for 4 WHOLE DAYS (oh, the humanity) proves.

                      I don’t know how many wins difference having Greene, Schumaker, or Descalso play everyday would have resulted in but I suspect your estimate is probably close. That’s because none of those three have sufficient skills to play the position everyday.

                    • Nutlaw says:

                      Well, the choice over who to play 2B hasn’t been a huge difference maker this season. Having a good 2B would probably help out the team a reasonable amount, as crdswmn suggests.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Praise the Lord, we won one.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      We needed Molina and his bases loaded double to pull that one out. Hope Yadier’s back is feeling better.
      Its hard for an inexperienced ML player to contribute as a seldom used backup, but Cruz has done a good job. Nevertheless as goes Molina, so go the Cards.

  3. blingboy says:

    Wacha has been a pro for just over 2 months and is already in AA. Of course, he only pitches two innings every 5 days. I guess that tells more than I would have thought. I predict the AFL for him.

    I also see where instructs are back for this year.

  4. Nutlaw says:

    Jaime was pitching a dominant game there until the Pirates learned that he can’t field.

  5. Nutlaw says:

    I watched the game through the ninth, then decided to get a few things done because I didn’t know how long the game would last. I come back, and it’s the fourteenth inning!

  6. blingboy says:

    “I wonder how much different the team’s record would be if 1) Greene played every day. ”

    I think Greene played most of the time through the end of May, at which time our win pct was .529. Right now its .537

    Skip gets less love than any .300 hitter I’ve ever heard of.

    Maybe Wang will be the answer, but I’m not holding my breath.

  7. Bw52 says:

    Skip had his chances to win it last nite and he messed up.Include our 3-4-5 hitters in the mess.What where they? 1 for 20 ? Just a crappy loss overall.Wonder if Craig hitting instead of Descalso would have made a difference? I think so.

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