Here on trade deadline day 2019, it seems as though only one thing is certain for our St. Louis Cardinals. Jedd Gyorko seemingly will be off of the roster one way or another by 3PM central time.
In appreciation of Uncle Jedd's time with the Cardinals, here are the Top 5 Jedd Gyorko Cardinals moments by WPA.
5) On May 25, 2019, just earlier this year, Gyorko had what looks to be his last big momentas a Cardinal. The Cardinals had gotten to May 1st with a 20-10 record in their first 30 games of the season and at the start of play on May 25th were just 25-25. They'd already dropped to just a .500 team. They had lost 15 of their last 20 and were absolutely reeling and coming off a loss to the Atlanta Braves. Dakota Hudson had pitched a gem of a game in which the Cardinals had had trouble scoring runs off of Atlanta starter Mike Soroka. Carlos Martinez relieved in the top of the 7th with one on and one out and a 2-1 lead. Within two batters, the Cardinals were down 3-2. In the bottom of the 8th, the Cardinals had tied it up on Matt Carpenter's single off of reliever Dan Winkler. Then, Gyorko stepped to the plate with Carp on first and pinch hitter Marcell Ozuna on second. Here's what happened next:
HR off Winkler +.307 WPA
4) Entering play on October 1, 2016, the St. Louis Cardinals were 8 games over .500 and were just 1 game back of the second wildcard spot and 2 games back of the first wildcard spot with two games to play. They had to have wins. PERIOD. Oh, and they needed help. Before getting that help, though, they had to create a bit of their own luck. You see, the Cardinals were in a dogfight of their own against Pittsburgh on that day. The Pirates were long out of it and just attempting to play spoiler. The Cardinals had beaten them 7-0 the day before for their 2nd straight win and their 3rd in 4 games. Gyorko came to the plate with two outs in a tied game in the bottom of the 8th against Pirates' closer Felipe Vazquez (then Felipe Rivero).
HR off Vazquez +.325 WPA
3) On August 20, 2018, the St. Louis Cardinals were 68-57 and coming off of series wins against the Cubs, then the Rockies (4 game set), then the Pirates, then the Marlins, then the Royals (sweep), then the Nationals (4 game set), and finally the Brewers. They headed to LA to face the Dodgers, who were also REALLY good. The Dodgers also had (and have) closer extraordinaire, Kenley Jansen. The Cardinals got to the 9th tied 3-3 but then had to face the aforementioned Jansen in a tied game in LA. This was not looking like it was going to be a win, with the aggressive move by the Dodgers' bench. Then, Jedd stepped to the plate with a 1-1 count, after having entered the game in the 7th in a double switch and getting his first and only PA of the game.
HR off Jansen +.352 WPA
Matt Carpenter would add a solo shot two pitches later and the Cardinals would take the game from the Dodgers!
2) On my sister's 32nd birthday, August 19, 2016, Gyorko came to the plate 1-3 in the game. It was the top of the 9th of a 3-1 game, with the Philadelphia Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez in the game to close it out. Gyorko was coming up with one on and one out and just looking to make some solid contact and get on base to continue the game. Well, he made some hard contact all right. Tied game!
HR off Gomez +.356 WPA
1) On July 22, 2016, Matt Adams got to be the ultimate hero, with a bottom of the 16th solo home run in a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and then Cardinal killer, but future Cardinal reliever, Bud Norris. Prior to that, however, came the biggest game by WPA in Jedd Gyorko's Cardinal history. You see, he came up in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and nobody on, down by 1 and batting against Kenley Jansen. This is less than a month prior to #3 on the list and Gyorko comes in and connects with a first pitch cutter that flies into the left field stands to tie it up!
HR off Jansen (again) +.489 WPA
There you have it. Some top Uncle Jedd moments to help you remember this era fondly.
(all .gifs and ideas compliments of @cardinalsgifs)
Thanks to Fangraphs for their searchable play log with WPA listed.