Sox Watch

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Red Sox WPA through 5/28/06

Well, that was a truly bizarre ninth inning. One minute you're one strike away from a 5-0 shutout, the next minute you're throwing out the tying run at the plate to eke out a 5-4 victory.

This inning deserves a few explanatory notes from a WPA perspective. Despite a truly lousy outing (walking three to load the bases), Seanez escapes with a pretty minimal WPA loss (-0.003), because he did get two outs along the way. Even at that point, with the bases loaded and two outs, the Sox WP is still 98.9%. Tavarez takes most of the WPA hit (and deserves to), by walking two more batters in much more critical situations than the ones Seanez faced. He then gave up what would have been a back-breaking base hit to Crawford, had it not been for Gathright's incomprehensible decision to try to squeeze in the tying run.

The Sox WP was actually briefly 100% after the Norton strikeout, but then the passed ball gave the Rays new life. I split the debit for that passed ball, as I do for all passed balls, 25% to the pitcher, and 75% for the catcher. This cost Tavarez -0.008 WPA and Mirabelli -0.025 WPA.

The final play was a tricky one, and an important one for WPA, because there was a lot on the line at that point, obviously. The Sox WP before the play was 85.4%. Crawford got a base hit to right, scoring Norton, and then Harris threw out Gathright trying to score. On plays like this, I split the action into two separate plays. First, Crawford's hit scores Norton. If the play had stopped there, we would have had a 5-4 score, with the bases loaded, with a Sox WP of 76.2%. Tavarez therefore takes a -0.092 WPA debit for his role in the play. From here on, however, Tavarez is not involved in the play, and so all the remaining WPA credit/debit is split among the fielders involved. We start with a WP of 76.2% and the ball in center field, and we finish with Gathright out at the plate, the game over, and a WP of 100%. There is therefore 0.238 of WPA to be distributed. I elected this to split this into three equal parts: One share went to the "Errors" category, which represents errors (and also good plays) by the opposing team. In this case, I consider Gathright's decision to try for home to be a judgement error. It's not clear at this point whether Gathright was waved home or made the call on his own, but in any case, it was a poor decision that helped the Sox. The remaining two-thirds of the credit for this play I split evenly between Harris, who threw a perfectly-located strike to the plate, and Mirabelli, who hauled it in, got set, and made the tag on Gathright.

Individual Player WPA Contributions
Sunday, 5/28/06
Devil Rays 4, Red Sox 5

Full-Season Player WPA Contributions
Through Sunday, 5/28/06

Full-Season Category WPA Contributions
Through Sunday, 5/28/06


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