Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 10/9/12
Allow me to state an obvious thing about the Nats-Cards NLDS, which is that it (i.e. the Series) is now tied at 1-1 after St. Louis’s 12-4 victory on Monday (box).Allow me to state another (mostly) obvious thing, which is that the following predictions about the remainder of the Nats-Cards NLDS — while almost reasonable — are also almost certain to be wrong.In any case, here they are — three almost reasonable predictions regarding the Nats and Cards:Trevor Rosenthal Will Post the Cards’ Second-Highest gmLI HenceforthLeverage Index (LI) is a measurement for how “critical” any given moment of a game is, where 1.00 is average and above 1.00 is “more critical.” So, for example, the most critical moment in Game Two on Monday — which featured a 2.08 LI (just over twice as important as a regular at-bat) — was when Jordan Zimmermann was batting in the second inning with Washington up 1-0, runners on first and second, and one out. This represented the moment by which the game’s fate would be most significantly decided. By contrast, the game’s lowest LIs (zero, basically) occurred in the eighth and ninth innings, with St. Louis having established a considerable lead.Game Leverage Index (gmLI) is a measure of the LI at the moment when a pitcher is brought into a game. As such, a team’s closer generally has the highest average gmLI of said team’s pitchers — because he is so frequently brought in to close games in late innings (when LIs are at their highest).Here, for example, are the five-highest average gmLIs among Cardinals pitchers this season:NameGGSIPgmLIJason Motte67072.01.71Marc Rzepczynski70046.21.40Edward Mujica29026.11.37Mitchell Boggs78073.11.35Victor Marte48040.11.24The LI of when right-hander Trevor Rosenthal appeared in Monday’s game was 0.01 — which, that’s very low. However, what Rosenthal proceeded to do — which, that’s to throw five of his 19 fastballs at 100-plus mph and all 19 of those fastballs at 97.9-plus mph and to get swinging strikes on six (31.6%) of those fastballs — was very impressive. That performance, which only strengthened an already strong (if brief) major-league CV (22.2 IP, 28.1% K, 7.9% BB, 53.7% GB, 80 xFIP-) suggests that he is qualified for considerably more critical moments.The Left Side of Their Defense Will Be a Problem for WashingtonIn a piece from yesterday (before Game Two), I looked at Ryan Zimmerman‘s awkward throwing mechanics — nor have they gone unnoticed by the TBS broadcast team and/or basically every Nationals fans. A late-inning throwing error ultimately cost the Nationals nothing in Game One; however, the threat of error still looms any time Zimmerman is forced to make a routine-seeming throw. Also on the left side of the defense is Mike Morse, whose lack of range led directly to Cardinal runs on Monday.Consider, first of all, this footage of Morse coming up just short on a foul ball from Carlos Beltran:Now, consider Morse’s part in this play, from two pitches later:It’s harder to see Morse in the second clip, on account of how quickly the camera is being forced to pan to keep track of the Beltran’s home run. Adron Chambers’ Base-Running Will Only Hurt the CardinalsOf his 41 regular-season games played this season, Cardinals outfielder Adron Chambers entered 11 of them (i.e. basically a quarter) as a pinch-runner. Furthermore, he was coach Mike Matheny‘s first choice for pinch-running duties in Game One, replacing third baseman David Freese in the eighth inning of Game One after the latter reached on an error. Of note, however, is that Adron Chambers doesn’t appear to be a particularly great baserunner. He’s 89-for-136 (65.4%) in stolen-base attempts in six seasons as a minor leaguer — which is to say, below the break-even point for stolen-base success against presumably inferior minor-league catchers. He’s also been below average (-1.6 base-running runs) in his very brief time as a major leaguer. Speaking very anecdotally, this seems to be the sort of player with whom managers and coaches take unnecessary risks, whether by asking them (i.e. the underwhelming pinch-runner) to attempt a stolen base or take an extra base when the probability of success is actually quite low.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Huskies, Buffaloes go back-to-back with amazing plays

Rolando McClain suspended indefinitely by NFL

Kerr has great response to latest Barkley criticism about Warriors

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

Paul Maurice: Game plans won’t work trying to stop McDavid

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nats considering Ian Desmond reunion

Eric Dickerson: Rams would be better off without Jeff Fisher

Sheriff: Joe McKnight shooting suspect fired from inside car

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Report: Five teams chasing Chris Sale, asking price high

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker