The Smallest Sample Size 08/16/13: Walk-Off and Blow Out Friday!

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Friday's action had a little bit of everything. Walk-offs, blow outs, double-digit slug-fests. Some playoff races got tighter while other contenders fell a little further behind.

Here is the recap of yesterday's action.

The Smallest Sample Size -- Game Results for 08/16/13

Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rays 5, Blue Jays 4

Baseball fans, I present to you your game of yesterday!

Games are always more exciting when you're unsure of who will win and it takes some late inning heroics to finally seal the deal. That's just what the Tampa Bay Rays did as they scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth off of a Jose Lobaton (.353 WPA) walk-off triple to right, which scored Yunel Escobar (.191 WPA).

Not only did Lobaton drive in the winning run but he was also the top performer in the game overall as he managed to get three hits and of course there's the amazing feat of hitting a triple while being a catcher. Somehow it happens.

More on the Rays at: DRaysBay

Giants 14, Marlins 10

The San Francisco Giants scored a pair of touchdowns in this one as they led by as much as seven runs in the third inning and never looked back. Both starting pitchers, as you would imagine, were absolutely horrible as they were responsible for 17 of the 24 total runs scored. With such a high scoring game you would expect a lot of home runs and doubles to have been hit but that wasn't the case in this one. It was actually the triple as the Giants hit three of them.

More on the Giants at: McCovey Chronicles

Rockies 6, Orioles 3

The long ball and a lack of offensive production were the keys to the demise of the Baltimore Orioles against the Colorado Rockies and they may soon find themselves much further out of the playoff race(s) than they would want. The Orioles pitching staff served up four home runs to four different players and their offense was unable to capitalize on the four walks issued by Rockies starter Juan Nicasio (.094 WPA).

More on the Rockies at: Purple Row

Cubs 7, Cardinals 0

The last thing the St. Louis Cardinals needed was to be shut out by the Chicago Cubs but that's exactly what happened. Jake Arrieta tossed seven innings of two-hit ball, both hits coming from Carlos Beltran, and struck out seven. His game score of 78 was the highest he's had since May 2, 2012, he threw 14 first pitch strikes, and managed to get eight swinging strikes.

More on the Cubs at: Bleed Cubbie Blue

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox

Braves 3, Nationals 2

No matter how tough the Washington Nationals play the Atlanta Braves it always seems to end the same way -- with the Braves finding a way to win; I believe Hawk Harrelson calls it "The Will to Win". The Nationals managed to tie the game at two in the eighth inning on a Jayson Werth (.181 WPA) single but a Justin Upton (.569 WPA) 10th inning home run was all she wrote.

More on the Braves at: Talking Chop

Mariners 3, Rangers 1

Kyle Seager (.431 WPA) and Justin Smoak (.164 WPA) provided all of the offense the Seattle Mariners could muster against the Texas Rangers last night. Seager hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead and then Smoak topped it off with a solo shot in the ninth. Derek Holland (.484 WPA) shut the Mariners out over seven innings but the Rangers bullpen was unable to compliment his efforts.

More on the Mariners at: Lookout Landing

Yankees 10, Red Sox 3

It must be the allure of New York that squeezes out every last bit of performance from their players, even if that player is Mark Reynolds (.136 WPA) who was released by the Cleveland Indians in the middle of a pennant/wild-card race. Reynolds managed to get two hits and one of them being a two-run shot in the second inning.

More on the Yankees at: Pinstriped Bible

Brewers 7, Reds 6

The Milwaukee Brewers were able to recover from a disastrous start from Tom Gorzelanny (-.310 WPA), who gave up five earned runs on two home-runs over four and two-third innings of work, and won with style. Jonathan Lucroy (.688 WPA) dominated this game by getting three hits, scoring two runs, driving in three, and hitting the walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give his team the win.

More on the Brewers at: Brew Crew Ball

Dodgers 4, Phillies 0

Finally! Yasiel Puig (-.061 WPA) went hitless and didn't do anything that directly led to his team winning. This time around it was Hanley Ramirez (.207 WPA) who played the role of hero. Ramirez hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead and that was enough.

More on the Dodgers at: True Blue LA

Royals 3, Tigers 0 (Game Two)

Just the other day I was commenting about how the Kansas City Royals were fading and probably didn't even have a punchers chance of making the postseason. Now here they are making me look silly by taking both games in their double-header with the Detroit Tigers. James Shields (.414 WPA) pitched seven strong innings and only allowed three hits. Eric Hosmer (.226 WPA) made sure his performance didn't go to waste by adding a two-run home run in the third inning.

More on the Royals at: Royals Review

Photo credit: Leon Halip

Royals 2, Tigers 1 (Game One)

Danny Duffy (.383 WPA), who is being shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the majors, gave up just one hit over six innings of work and Eric Hosmer (.082 WPA) added a home run in the win. This performance from Duffy has to have the Royals excited and Duffy himself must be feeling good. Now we just wait for when the Royals keep him on the roster for the rest of the season.

More on the Tigers at: Bless You Boys

Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 2

Pedro Alvarez (.187 WPA), Neil Walker (.158 WPA), and Andrew McCutchen (.095 WPA) did what they needed to do on offense to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks and pick back up that game to the Cardinals. I know I've said this already, a few times, but the divisional battle raging between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals is one we should all be paying attention to.

More on the Pirates at: Bucs Dugout

Athletics 3, Indians 2

Yoenis Cespedes (.156 WPA) hit his 20th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning, but it was a double by Eric Sogard (.200 WPA) in the bottom of the seventh that ultimately scored the winning run. This victory pulled the A's within half a game of the Rangers for the American League West division lead.

More on the Athletics at: Athletics Nation

White Sox 5, Twins 2

The Chicago White Sox got home runs from Jeff Keppinger (.066 WPA) and Adam Dunn (.090 WPA) and a strong showing from Jose Quintana (.178 WPA), six and two-third innings, helped limit the Minnesota Twins to just two runs.

More on the White Sox at: South Side Sox

Astros 8, Angels 2

Chris Carter (.069 WPA) hit a home run and drove in five runs in the Houston Astros victory over the Los Angels Angels. Recently acquired LJ Hoes (.080 WPA) also seems to be finding his way with the bat at the major league level; he's batting .286 since being acquired by the Astros and has also been learning how to play right field.

More on the Astros at: The Crawfish Boxes

. . .

All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.

Lance Rinker is a writer at Beyond The Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @BSLLanceRinker.

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