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Heroes And Zeroes: Cardinals 3, Marlins 1

There's no surprise with the top hero, as Jaime Garcia pitched into the ninth and earned his fifth win of the season.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Heroes and Zeroes is a series of articles where I use the Wins Probability Added (WPA) metric available at www.fangraphs.com in order to get a little deeper into the box score, and rank each player based on his own weighted plate appearances. This system works because it's easy to rank pitchers and hitters on the same scale. It's only drawback is an inability to calculate fielding and baserunning errors. I include a modification to account for fielding errors to take some of that fallibility away. Players are ranked from most positive impact on the outcome of the game down to the most negative. Top three players are Heroes, bottom three are Zeroes.

Heroes

Jaime Garcia (STL) .358

Garcia faced 31 Miami batters through 8.1 innings, and allowed eight to get on base with six hits through the first eight innings, plus a walk and a hit batsman in the ninth. He didn't allow a hit until Dee Gordon's single leading off the fourth inning (-4.4%), but quickly set that to rights by picking off the fleet footed second baseman (+7.1%). He did not allow any extra base hits and struck out six batters. His victory gives him 47 in the major leagues, all with St. Louis. The mark puts him at 55th on the Cardinals' all-time leaderboard. That same amount of wins would place him sixth on Miami's list.

Trevor Rosenthal (STL) .152

Rosenthal came on to relieve Garcia with one out and runners on first and second in the ninth. He allowed Cole Gillespie a hit to start things out, but Jason Heyward's fielding error allowed Derek Dietrich to score Miami's only marker of the game. After that debaucle, He induced fly ball outs to JT Realmuto (+8.4%) and to Ichiro Suzuki (+6.8%) to literally save the game for the Cards.

Matt Carpenter (STL) .130

Carpenter led off for the Redbirds, and started his night with a fly out to center field (-2.1%) in the first and a backwards K to lead off the third (-2.4%). His biggest impact on the game came with two out and a runner on third in the fifth, when he surprised the Marlins by bunting for an RBI single (+14.6%). His leadoff home run in the eighth (+3.0%) had a much smaller impact on the overall outcome of the contest.

Almost Heroes

Mark Reynolds (STL) .109

Cole GIllespie (MIA) .105

Randal Grichuk (STL) .065

Casey McGehee (MIA) .042

Minimal Impact

Tom Koehler (MIA) .021

Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA) .019

Jhonny Peralta (STL) -.014

Mike Dunn (MIA) -.025

Martin Prado (MIA) -.034

Almost Zeroes

Stephen Piscotty (STL) -.049

Kolton Wong (STL) -.054

Yadier Molina (STL) -.054

Derek Dietrich (MIA) -.066

Dee Gordon (MIA) -.084

Miguel Rojas (MIA) -.120

Zeroes

Jason Heyward (STL) -.143

Heyward batted cleanup for St. Louis, and began the night with an infield flyout (-2.2%) to end the first with a man on first. He hit into a 6-3 groundout to open the fourth (-2.6%), grounded straight to Casey McGehee for the second out of the sixth (-1.3%), and lined out to Adeiny Hechavarria with a runner on second for the second out of the eighth (-0.4%). None of these plate appearances would have been enough to merit his inclusion at the bottom of this list, but his error in the ninth (-7.8%) allowed the Marlins to creep back into the game.

Ichiro Suzuki (MIA) -.171

Suzuki tied Ty Cobb last night with his 4,192nd professional hit, with a two-out single to left in the fifth (+1.6%). That wasn't enough, however, to keep him from the bottom of this list when paired with his other plate appearances. He batted seventh for the Fish, and started his night with an infield groundout to lead off the third (-2.4%). His biggest transgression of the night was his groundball out with runners on the corners to end the seventh (-9.6%). He also flew out to end the game with two runners on (-6.8%).

JT Realmuto (MIA) -.188

Realmuto batted sixth for the Marlins, starting his night with Jaime Garcia's second strikeout to end the second inning (-1.0%). He was also Garcia's fifth strikeout victim, for the second out of the fifth (-2.0%). His groundball fielders' choice erased one of two runners on base in his seventh inning plate appearance (-7.4%), and his ninth inning flyout (-8.4%) with two runners on cemented his night.

Tonight, the Cards host the Marlins again in game two of this three game series.