Best Play (WPA):
Junior Guerra was on the mound again. Thus far he’s been a nice surprise this season. He threw two scoreless innings to start off the game but got into trouble in the third.
Carlos Martinez led off the inning by grounding out to shortstop Jonathan Villar, but trouble then followed as Carpenter singled on a hard line drive to right fielder Ramon Flores. One of the biggest surprises this season has been the play of Aledmys Diaz, who singled on a bunt to third baseman Hernan Perez. Perez also made a throwing error on the play and Carpenter was able to move to third base putting runners on third and first with only one out.
Matt Carpenter then singled on a line drive just out of the reach of Perez’ glove which scored the first run of the game. These marked two plays that, while difficult, especially the Holliday line drive, could have been made. Diaz would have actually been out with a good throw.
The next batter was Matt Adams. He came up with a man on first and second and hit a deep fly ball to left field. Presley, who is replacing the injured Braun, seemed from the beginning to have difficulties with the ball. He didn’t take the most optimal route and the ball fell behind him on the warning track, and plated Diaz to increase the deficit to 2-0. This was a very playable ball. If Guerra was lucky he could have gotten out of the inning with no runs scored. Instead, the Cardinals scored three runs in the inning which proved to be too much for the Brewers to handle.
Worst Play (WPA):
The Brewers didn’t score a run this game. They were shut down from the very beginning by Carlos Martinez, who brought his electric stuff.
The Brewers never had many chances to score this game. But, one of the only slim signs of hope was when Chris Carter singled to lead off the second inning. Carter hit the ball hard on a line and it looked as though the Brewers were going to have something cooking.
The next batter was Kirk Nieuwenhuis. On the second pitch of the at bat, he grounded a ball to second baseman Kolten Wong. Wong turned it into a double play, ending one of the few slim signs of hope the Brewers had of scoring in this game.
Trend to Watch:
Before his injury, Scooter Gennett was playing marvelous baseball. He looked like a completely different hitter. Not only was he hitting for power, but he was also walking at a much higher rate than before. In fact, Gennett had a .361 OBP and was slugging .516 in the month of April. This was very encouraging as, if Gennett could sustain some semblance of this type of play, then the Brewers had basically found their second basemen of the future.
Then Gennett was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right oblique injury. Gennett missed 15 games due to the injury. Since returning from the DL, he is walking at a considerably lower rate and is barely hitting for any power. In fact, he’s only slugging .255.
Before being put on the DL, Gennett had an average exit velocity of 90 mph and an average launch angle of 15.1. Which, if you remember the exit velocity and launch angle chart I displayed, is basically doubles territory, or Gennett was a doubles hitter. Since returning from the DL, Gennett’s average exit velocity is 85 mph with an average launch angle of 9. Meaning, that Gennett is now a weak groundball hitter who doesn’t walk.
Gennett might be working off some rust, or he might still be injured. If this peformance is a symptom of a larger problem, then Gennett’s spot on the Brewers roster will be in jeopardy. An average to below average defensive second basemen who has a wRC+ of 78 doesn’t belong on a big league club. That’s a below replacement level player, and that’s who Gennett is right now.
Wily Peralta, who has been a disaster this season, will be facing the Cardinals lineup and Mike Leake tonight.