Heroes and Zeroes is a series where I use www.fangraphs.com to rank each player's gameday. It is not meant to say one player is better than any other player. WPA is a context dependent measurement in which each play is judged on it's probable impact on the outcome of the game. Source material for tonight's game is here.
First Hero: Carlos Martinez (.135)
Martinez entered the game in the sixth inning with a 4-1 lead with two runners on base and only one out. He ended the threat by inducing groundouts to Starling Marte and to Travis Snider. He opened the seventh inning by allowing a walk to Andrew McCutchen, then getting Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin to fly out. He closed the inning by getting Neil Walker to ground out. His "fireman" routine in the sixth makes him tonight's hero, with an in-inning WPA of .095.
Second Hero: Yadier Molina (.123)
Molina singled in the first and grounded out in the third. His solo home run in the sixth was worth 8.4% of a win, powering most of his game score. He struck out swinging in the eighth.
Third Hero: Matt Holiday (.105)
Holiday went one-for-five on the night. All of his positive impact happened in the first inning, when he drove in the first run of the game with a single to right field. He grounded out in the second, flied out to right in the fifth, flew out to center in the seventh, and grounded out again in the ninth.
Third Zero: Jody Mercer (-.074)
Mercer went 0-for-4 on the night, with two fly outs, a ground out and a strikeout. His flyout in the sixth when the Bucs were down by three with nobody out and one on measured as precisely half of his impact (-.037).
Second Zero: Neil Walker (-.156)
Walker grounded out three times and flew out in the fifth. His bases loaded groundout in the third inning counted as -.091 WPA.
First Zero: Francisco Liriano (-.242)
Liriano allowed four earned runs in six innings, striking out four Cards and allowing seven hits and two walks. He handed the ball over to Jeanmar Gomez to start the seventh inning with a 4-1 deficit. He went one-for-two with a single into center field from the plate.
We can only hope for better days and differently be-uniformed heroes in the future, starting with tomorrow's rubber match against these same St. Louis Cardinals.