Here is a recap of yesterday's action.
The Smallest Sample Size -- Game Results for 08/14/13
Photo credit: Norm Hall
Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 4
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the game of yesterday. 14 innings and a 1.84 average leverage index later the Arizona Diamondbacks walked-off against the Orioles for the third game in a row. Each team had their own key moment in the game so let's start with the Orioles.
Nate McLouth came up with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th inning for the Orioles and hit into a double play. The run expectancy with the bases loaded and one out is 1.62, so more often than not a team is expected to score in that situation. The key moment for the Diamondbacks came in the bottom of the ninth and 14th innings as Aaron Hill (.576 WPA) came through for his team each time with a single to drive in the tying and then winning run.
Yankees 11, Angels 3
Jered Weaver was absolutely rocked in his start against the New York Yankees, giving up nine earned runs over five innings. The Yankees acquisition of Alfonso Soriano has been paying off over the last four games (.603 WPA), especially in this game, considering he single handedly won it for his team. Soriano (.323 WPA) hit a grand slam, the fifth of his career, in the first inning and added another home run in the fifth inning.
Rockies 4, Padres 2
A good effort out of starting pitcher Jorge de la Rosa (.343 WPA), six innings with six strikeouts and two earned runs, and some timely hitting out of Corey Dickerson (.157 WPA) and Troy Tulowitzki (.096 WPA) were all the Colorado Rockies needed to secure a victory over the San Diego Padres. Since being called up in June all Dickerson has done is contribute by playing solid defense and raking at the plate with a .321/.368/.551 batting line.
Marlins 5, Royals 2
The Kansas City Royals were starting to become a bit too good to be true, with their recent dominance over the Boston Red Sox and whatnot, and leave it to the Miami Marlins of all teams to humble them a bit. The Royals had this game fairly well in hand until the seventh inning when second baseman Elliott Johnson committed a costly error.
Even with the loss, the Royals have to be pleased with the performance of starter Ervin Santana (.238 WPA), six innings of one run ball, and the fact that they began the second half five games under .500 and are now within reach of a playoff spot.
Photo credit: Brian Kersey
Tigers 6, White Sox 4
Miguel Cabrera (.109 WPA) hit a three-run home run in the third inning to tie the game at three apiece and the Detroit Tigers bullpen was rock solid after starter Rick Porcello exited after six innings and three runs allowed. The win maintains their six game lead over the second place Cleveland Indians.
Indians 9, Twins 8
The Cleveland Indians were in danger of falling completely out of the American League Central race, and losing some serious ground in the wild-card chase, after having been swept by the Tigers in a four game series and losing two of three to the Los Angeles Angels.
They've managed to win two in a row against the Minnesota Twins behind the bats of Carlos Santana (.312 WPA) and Jason Giambi (.374) who each hit a home run.
This game wasn't quite as close as the score suggests considering Tim Lincecum (-.349 WPA) had a miserable outing, pitching six innings and giving up six earned in the process. Jordan Zimmerman (.139 WPA), however, did not have a poor start as he went seven innings and gave up just one earned run on six hits. Even though it appears that the Nationals are completely out of the playoff picture at this point they have won five in a row and appear to be attempting something resembling a magical run to get themselves back in it.
Reds 5, Cubs 0
Old man Bronson Arroyo (.417 WPA) has put together another amazing start for the Cincinnati Reds by going seven innings, striking out seven, and allowing just two hits. Todd Frazier hit a home run in the first inning, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead and little did he know it would be the game winner.
Pirates 5, Cardinals 1
Even though the American League West divisional race is closer between the top two teams I happen to think that the National League Central competition is going to be the one that comes down to the wire, and be far more competitive, between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
Francisco Liriano (.265 WPA), possibly the best signing of the off-season, pitched a complete game and now has an ERA/FIP line of 2.68/2.81 while continuing to make his case for National League Cy Young.
Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3
Even though the Boston Red Sox still have a decent three game lead in the American League East they look surprisingly, or not depending on your thoughts about their team, human lately. The Red Sox were tailing 3-1 in the top of the ninth, with win expectancy of just 3.6%, but then Mike Napoli (.173 WPA) evened it up with a two-run home run. That small victory was short lived though because the Toronto Blue Jays came right back in the bottom of the 10th to win it on a Brett Lawrie (.105 WPA)single, his only hit of the game.
Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Rays 5, Mariners 4
The Seattle Mariners were unable to record a single out in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays last night. Tampa trailed by a score of 4-3 until three straight hits by Ben Zobrist (.283 WPA), Matt Joyce (.122 WPA), Evan Longoria (.365 WPA) and an intentional walk to Wil Myers (.022 WPA) set up Jason Bourgeois (.069 WPA) to come through with the game winning single.
Braves 6, Phillies 3
The utter domination of the Atlanta Braves continues as they hold a 33-18 record against their own division and seem downright unstoppable. Of course it doesn't help when you have one of the bigger surprises of the season in third baseman Chris Johnson, who happens to be leading the National League in batting average (.337) and has already set a new career high in WAR at 2.4.
Rangers 5, Brewers 4
Elvis Andrus (.173 WPA) and Ian Kinsler (.217 WPA) combined four hits and four RBI as the Texas Rangers came back in the seventh inning to top the Milwaukee Brewers. Matt Garza (-.168 WPA) may not have been very good in this start but the Rangers bullpen came up huge, pitching three and one-third shutout innings.
Dodgers 5, Mets 4
The Los Angeles Dodgers trailed 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth and Andre Ethier (.467 WPA) hit a pinch-hit two-run home run to send this one into extra innings. Neither team was able to get anything going until the bottom of the 14th inning when Yasiel Puig (-.004 WPA) managed to get his first base knock of the game when he doubled to center and Adrian Gonzalez (.249 WPA) followed Puig's double with a double of his own to win the game.
Astros 2, Athletics 1
It took extras to do it but the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics last night on a double in the top of the 11th inning by catcher Carlos Corporan (.331 WPA). Corporan didn't even start the game and only had one plate appearance but he made it count.
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All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.
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