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Thursday's set of sabermetric links includes different perspectives on Raul Ibanez's clutch home runs and Joe Saunders' ability to induce double play balls
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs puts Raul Ibanez's Game 3 performance in win probability added (WPA) historical perspective: Raul Ibanez’s Historic Clutch Evening | FanGraphs Baseball
We only have postseason data going back to 2002, but from our records, this is the second best single game WPA in that stretch, trailing only David Freese‘s amazing performance from Game 6 of the World Series last year. Freese’s performance was the single highest WPA in postseason history, so every other player in the history of the sport is also behind him.
As I'm sure everyone reading this knows, Ibanez entered the game as a pinch hitter for Alex Rodriguez, so Baseball-Reference created a list of the greatest hitters to every be pinch-hit for in the postseason: Best Players PH For in the Postseason » Sports Reference » Blog Archive
These are the PAs seventh inning or later, batting team down and a batter home run could tie or put the batting team ahead, sorted by the most offensive WAR for the player pinch hit for. WAR_prev_2 is Offensive WAR in the year of and year before the PH AB occurred.
Al Yellon of Baseball Nation questions whether any of us will actually remember Ibanez' night, by listing five walkoff home runs that "we've forgotten" about: The top 5 postseason walkoff home runs you've forgotten about - Baseball Nation
There have now been 42 walkoff home runs in postseason games, including Ibañez's heroics. Some of them are among the most memorable moments in the history of the game... Here are five others that won postseason games hit by unlikely players that you might not remember
Russell A. Carlton of Baseball Prospectus analyzes whether or not Joe Saunders actually has the ability to induce double plays: Baseball Prospectus | Baseball Therapy: Is Joe Saunders a Double Play Machine?
Does Joe Saunders get more groundballs at opportune times? Yes. Sorta. Mostly because he's apparently more prone to pitch to contact, which will produce more batted balls of all types. His GB/FB ratio will remain largely unchanged. It’s only after controlling for the general groundball tendencies of the batter and pitcher, and by looking at events per plate appearance rather than by balls in play, that the effect becomes clear.