We had blow outs! We had pitching duels! We had extra-inning nail biters!
The Smallest Sample Size -- Game Results for 08/09/2013
Photo credit: David Banks
Justin Morneau had a breakout game of sorts, hitting two home runs and driving in five, posting a .473 WPA to illustrate just how important his contributions were to the Twins victory. This was his second two-home run game of the season, with the last coming against the New York Yankees on July 4.
Twins 3, White Sox 2 (Game Two)
The best way to sum up how this game went is with a series of tweets from our very own Alex Kienholz.
Oswaldo Arcia, you are a hero!!!— Alex Kienholz (@Alex_Kienholz) August 10, 2013
YOU CAN PUT IN ON THE BOOOOOOOOARD! YES! YES!— Alex Kienholz (@Alex_Kienholz) August 10, 2013
I love you, Oswaldo.— Alex Kienholz (@Alex_Kienholz) August 10, 2013
Braves 5, Marlins 0
It's not like the Atlanta Braves needed anything other than the home run hit by Justin Upton in the first inning, but the home runs hit by Brian McCann and Chris Johnson certainly didn't hurt. Brandon Beachy shut the Miami Marlins out over eight innings, giving up just three hits, striking out six, and posting a game score of 81.
This was a much needed win for the A's, who feel the Texas Rangers breathing down their necks, and the star of the game was Josh Reddick. Three hits, three home runs, and five RBI -- does it get any more dominant than that for a hitter? He also managed a 1.800 ISO, 1.256 wOBA, and a 746 wRC+, I believe we call those video game numbers.
Photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Nationals 9, Phillies 2
Dan Haren, the man the Washington Nationals signed to a one-year, $13 million-dollar contract this off-season finally resembled what the team was hoping for before the ink even dried on the contract. He went seven innings giving up four hits, two earned runs, and struck out seven. This is the first time all season Haren has strung together three solid outings in a row.
Angels 5, Indians 2
Josh Hamilton single-handedly beat the Cleveland Indians, extending the Tribe's losing streak to five games, by hitting a three-run home run in the first inning. Hamilton's .147 WPA is his most positive contribution to the Angels the entire season.
Reds 7, Padres 2
Bronson Arroyo continues to defy father time, and our regression models, by pitching really well once again. He went seven innings against the San Diego Padres, striking out seven and the only damage done was a solo home run by Logan Forsythe. Arroyo's performance was good, to the tune of a .204 WPA, but it wasn't technically the best because Joey Votto got two hits and drove in two runs on his way to a .241 WPA.
Cubs 3, Cardinals 0
The pitching staff really came through for the Chicago Cubs because their offense wasn't getting much done. The Cubs shutout the Cardinals for the first time since 1997, which is kind of a long time. Even though this win doesn't do much to change the fact that the Cubs are one of the worst teams in the National League they still have something to celebrate. The pitching staff combined for a WPA of .485 and starting pitcher Chris Rusin accounted for .348 of that.
Rockies 10, Pirates 1
Francisco Liriano has been pitching like a legitimate Cy Young candidate all season for the Pittsburgh Pirates but the Colorado Rockies had his number in this one. Liriano was abused for 10 earned runs over just two and one-third innings pitched and ended up with a nifty -.417 WPA (for some reason I love the negative WPA). Every single Rockies position player recorded a hit in this one.
Rangers 9, Astros 4
Recently acquired starting pitcher Matt Garza gave up four earned runs over seven innings of work, though he gave them all up by the fifth inning, but the Texas Rangers offense chipped away at the Houston Astros bullpen after their starter, Erik Bedard, exited after giving up just three earned runs over his usual six and two-thirds innings pitched. Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre combined to score six runs (three each) in the victory.
Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport
Yankees 4, Tigers 3
The New York Yankees took a three to one lead into the bottom of the ninth inning and sent Mariano Rivera out there to seal the deal. He instead blew his second save in a row with, approximately, 449 feet of assistance from Miguel Cabrera. Fast forward to the bottom of the 10th inning with two outs, the bases loaded, and Brett Gardner at the plate. Gardner hit a single into left field, scoring Jayson Nix, and winning the game for the Yankees. The leverage index in that particular situation was 6.39, if that gives you any indication the type of situation it was.
Royals 9, Red Sox 6
Jake Peavy (-.338 WPA) and Ervin Santana (-.504) were both awful in this game but the Kansas City Royals offense outlasted, and out hit, the Boston Red Sox to guarantee a series split at the very least. The sixth inning was the difference maker as the Royals sent 11 hitters to the plate and six of them came across to score. Justin Maxwell was a big contributor, yet again, for the Royals going 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and a .203 WPA but it was Eric Hosmer who put his team up for good in the sixth when he hit a two-run single.
This one was close all throughout but the difference maker was a Paul Goldschmidt game-winning home run, his 27th of the season and second game winner of the season. He accounted for .461 WPA but more importantly he came through in a pressure filled situation to keep his team hanging around in the playoff race.
Orioles 5, Giants 2
Chris Tillman pitched eight innings of one-run ball against the San Francisco Giants, allowing four hits, striking out nine and earning a game score of 78. The Orioles were prepared for victory until Jim Johnson blew his seventh save of the season, allowing the Giants to tie the game at two and send it into extra innings. The Orioles didn't wait long to strike though because Chris Davis (.465 WPA) doubled in two runs, giving his team a four to two lead, and Tommy Hunter came on in the bottom of the 10th to close things out.
Dodgers 7, Rays 6
Skip Schumaker, Mark Ellis, Nick Punto, Adrian Gonzalez, and Jerry Hairston were the heroes of this game for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They were the ones that got a rally started in the bottom of the ninth inning, when they were down by three runs. We also can't forget about Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney (-.971 WPA), who apparently wanted to make dreams come true -- just not the dreams of his own team.
The Brew Crew had this one wrapped up by the fifth inning when Yuniesky Betancourt hit a grand slam to put the Brewers up by a score of nine to two. It was his only hit of the game but it was the one that counted the most, which helped back a decent effort by starter Kyle Lohse who pitched seven innings, giving up three earned runs, and struck out seven.
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All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.
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