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Cardinals Vs. Braves: Atlanta Wastes Effort From Brandon Beachy In 3-2 Loss

Saturday, April 30
(16-11) St. Louis Cardinals - 3
(13-15) Atlanta Braves - 2

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Same story, different day. The Cardinals rallied from three down in the eighth and ninth innings to win their second straight against the Braves in the final outs of the game.

Both teams trudged along through four scoreless innings. Martin Prado doubled to lead off the bottom of the first but was erased on a force out at third. The Cardinals didn't reach base until the fourth inning on a single. Brian McCann singled with one out in the fourth but was erased on a double play.

The Braves finally broke the scoreless tie in the fifth. Alex Gonzalez singled and Nate McLouth walked with one out, and after Brandon Beachy bunted them both into scoring position, Martin Prado laced a double with two outs to score both, worth .234 WPA.

Beachy remained in the game to begin the eighth but didn't last long, giving up a leadoff double to Daniel Descalso worth .090 WPA, and a Tyler Greene walk to put two on with no outs, worth .084 WPA. Jonny Venters came in to do damage control and almost got away with it. After a sac bunt moved both into scoring position, Venters struck Lance Berkman out for two outs, worth -.119 WPA. However, David Freese picked Berkman up with a two-out, two-run single to tie the game at two, worth .286 WPA.

Jason Heyward doubled with one out in the eighth, worth .092 WPA. However, after Chipper Jones was walked, Brian McCann flew out (-.081) and Dan Uggla lined out to third to end the inning (-.088).

With Craig Kimbrel on the mound in the ninth, the Cardinals capped their comeback with the go-ahead run. Matt Holliday singled to lead off the inning, and after Colby Rasmus struck out, Holliday advanced to second on a passed ball. It didn't matter, however, as Gerald Laird punched a triple into the gap that scored Holliday and gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead, worth .327, the biggest swing in the game.

Stat of the Day:
Jonny Venters has a 90% ground ball rate to go with a 3.3% line drive rate.

The Game Changer:
Gerald Laird triples in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning to put the Cardinals ahead, 3-2, worth .327 WPA.

WPA Winners:
(STL) David Freese: .262
(STL) Gerald Laird: .258
(ATL) Brandon Beachy: .233

WPA Losers:
(ATL) Craig Kimbrel: -.392
(ATL) Dan Uggla: -.166
(STL) Lance Berkman: -.166

The Focus:
Brandon Beachy threw seven shutout innings on two hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He ended the day with seven innings, two runs, three hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Since going on a streak of 11.1 innings where he allowed nine runs on 14 hits with six walks and 10 strikeouts, Beachy has since pitched 19 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, three walks and 19 strikeouts. Not bad against the Dodgers, Giants and Cardinals.

For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Cardinals fans check out Viva El Birdos.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.