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. It is a statistic that is meant to divide credit amongst the winning team and blame across the losing team. If you were to follow the link at the end of this paragraph, or even add all the numbers in this article together, they will add up to zero. The winning team is responsible for 0.5 wins, and the losing team is responsible for -.5 wins. The statistic has properties such that an 81-81 team, at the end of the season, will have a collective WPA of exactly zero. Source material for today's game can be found here.
First Hero: John Jay (.276)
Jay flew out to center field in the first, struck out looking in the fourth, and walked in the ninth, eventually getting erased on a double play. In the sixth inning, with two outs and a man on first base, he tripled the Cardinals only run in. St. Louis' only scoring play of the contest resulted in a single event WPA of .220, or 22% of a win.
Second Hero: Tony Sanchez (.227)
Sanchez grounded out to shortstop in the third, grounded out to second base in the fifth, and doubled to center field in the seventh with Pedro Alvarez on first. Alvarez chugged all the way around to score the eventual game winning and series clinching run. It's not a bad day for Sanchez, who is still listed as a "prospect," number 12 on John Sickels list at www.minorleagueball.com. That one play counted for 26.9% of the win.
Third Hero: Tony Watson (.151)
Watson entered in the sixth inning with two outs and runners on the corners, promptly getting Matt Adams to strike out swinging at a nasty curve that ended up nearly a foot and a half out of the strike zone. The seventh inning would see him get two more swinging strikeouts and a harmless groundout. He ended up earning the Pirates' win.
Pedro Alvarez (-.005).
Travis Snider (-.025), Kolten Wong (-.033), Matt Carpenter (-.040), Jhonny Peralta (-.040), Adam Wainwright (-.044), Allen Craig (-.059), Starling Marte (-.068), Jose Tabata (-.082), Yadier Molina (-.088), Daniel Descalso (-.108).
Third Zero: Gaby Sanchez (-.125)
Sanchez grounded into a double play to end the second inning, grounded out with a man on second to end the fourth inning, and struck out swinging with one out and a man on first in the seventh. None of his three plate appearances were especially damaging to Pittsburgh's chances to win, but when added together they rank him with the third biggest rotten tomato of the afternoon.
Second Zero: Matt Adams (-.136)
Adams struck out swinging to end the first, flied out to left to close the fourth, struck out swinging to end the sixth with runners on the corners, and grounded out to second to end the game. His strike out in the sixth was worth 7.4% of Pittsburgh's victory. Adams single-handedly killed four separate innings for the Cardinals, but the biggest zero of the afternoon would go to a different Matt....
First Zero: Matt Holiday (-.250)
Holiday reached on a fielders' choice in the first, and that was his highlight of the afternoon. He grounded out to second in the fourth inning, and was intentionally walked in the sixth. When he came to the plate with Jon Jay standing at first base in the ninth and nobody out, he grounded into a double play which counted for -.222 towards his daily WPA.
Thanks for reading. After an off day tomorrow, the Pirates take on the Cubs three times in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.