Game 127 WPA: Picking up Strasburg. Nats 5, Cubs 4

"RAAAAR! MI TEEMAYTES PIKZ ME UPP!!" (Not an actual quote) - Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot to like in the this game. Stras pitched well (mostly), Lombo went yard, Ramos threw out some runners (plural!), the bullpen was solid, and the Nats pulled off some small ball to win it.

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Via Fangraphs (click to embiggen)

  • An out away: Stephen Strasburg (-15.9% pitching, +6.3% hitting) cruises for 8 innings, with 1 ER, 8 Ks and 2 BBs, but can only get 2 outs in the 9th before giving up 3 ER to tie the game. He's 2-4 at the plate, with a 2nd-inning RBI single to tack on (+6.8%).
  • No baserunners: Ryan Zimmerman (+15.1%) is 3-6 with a first-inning solo shot for the early lead.
  • L'il Scrapper = L'il Slugger: Steve Lombardozzi (+0.9%) is 2-5 with a double and his first HR of the year (+4.5%). Unfortunately, he flies out to leave the tying run on 2nd in the 10th (-10.2%).
  • Reliably reliable: Tyler Clippard (+13.0%) has a 1-2-3 10th with 2 Ks to keep it tied and earn a shutdown.
  • WPA undervalues catcher defense: Wilson Ramos (-4.3%) is 0-4, but he throws out Castro trying to steal--twice (+2.2% and +4.7%, although Stras gets the credit for it).
  • Long man: Craig Stammen (+26.7%) walks one and fans one over two innings in extra, but keeps it tied for another monster shutdown.
  • Small ball: Denard Span (+7.7%) atones for a 10th-inning RISP fail (-9.1%) by doubling to lead off the 13th (+17.2%). Lombo bunts him to 3rd (+0.2%), and Chad Tracy (+14.0%) has a PH dribbler that's just weak enough for Span to score the go-ahead run against the drawn-in infield.
  • Closer: Drew Storen (+19.4%) sets 'em down in order faces the minimum in the 13th sealing the win on the rarely-seen 1-4-6-3 DP to earn a shutdown.
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