Sox Watch

Monday, August 21, 2006

Red Sox Series WPA vs. Yankees

In the wake of this catastrophic series, here's a summary showing WPA totals for each player over the course of the five-game series.

On the pitching side, things are pretty much as you would suspect. Schilling and Wells turned in the only decent starts, while the bullpen sucked with the exception of Papelbon on Sunday and Tavarez in Game 2 on Friday. Papelbon managed to turn in a positive WPA despite his blown save, on the strength of his gutsy eighth-innning appearance. He entered the game with a two-run lead and the bases loaded with nobody out, which is about the toughest situation you can put a closer into. The Red Sox Win Probability when he entered the game was down to 56.2%. By the time he escaped the inning, giving up just the sacrifice fly, the WP had increased to 85.7%, giving him +0.295 for the inning. Of course, he gave some of this back in the ninth by giving up the game-tying bloop to Jeter, but he still finished with a positive total for the night.

It's also interesting to note that among the Yankees' starting pitchers, only Lidle in Game 5 turned in a positive WPA. The starters were negative in all four other games, yet the Sox were still unable to capitalize.

Offensively, Manny and Mark Loretta were the only bright spots. Manny went 8-for-11 with nine walks, while Loretta had nine hits over the weekend, four of them doubles. Crisp and Javy Lopez hurt the team the most at the plate, going a combined 3-for-31 over the weekend.

For New York, of course, just about everyone had a good series, with the exception of the starters. Rivera, Proctor, and Farnsworth led the way in the bullpen, with Vallone turning in the only poor performance. At the plate, Abreu, Giambi, and Jeter did the most damage, while the only significant negative performances were turned in by Craig Wilson and Sal Fasano.

Red Sox Series WPA Totals
vs. Yankees, 8/18/06 - 8/21/06

Yankees Series WPA Totals
vs. Red Sox, 8/18/06 - 8/21/06


  • Amazing how Cano has an overall negative WPA despite 10 RBI in the series.

    By Blogger Andy, at 12:17 PM  

  • That's a good point, and it illustrates the difference between WPA and raw performance numbers. Cano hit .333 with 10 RBI for the series, yet he was negative in WPA for three of the five games, and finished with a negative total overall. Why?

    Well, situational hitting is vital in earning WPA, and much of Cano's hitting came in non-crucial situations. Consider:

    --- In Game 1, his two RBI in the seventh inning gave NY an 8-3 lead (+0.043 WPA). But he also grounded into a double play in the fourth inning with his team ahead, 1-0 (-0.074 WPA). He finished with -0.094 for the game.

    --- In Game 2, he had one RBI in the second to tie the game 1-1 (a big play, at +0.094 WPA), and two more in the seventh to extend the NY lead to 14-10 (another big play, at +0.121 WPA). His total for the day was +0.129, fourth-best on the team.

    --- In Game 3, he had two more big plays: an RBI single in the third to take a 3-0 lead (+0.077 WPA), and a bases-loaded RBI walk in the sixth to break a 5-5 tie (+0.140 WPA). But his other three RBI in this game came on a three-run homer in the eighth, with the Yankees already ahead 9-5, and was therefore only worth +0.032 WPA. His total for the day was +0.238, the best on the team.

    --- In Game 4, he grounded into a double play in the fourth with NY ahead 3-2 (-0.074 WPA), popped out to end the sixth with a man on third while behind 4-3 (-0.056 WPA), and in the eighth, still trailing 4-3, struck out with the bases loaded (-0.157 WPA). This was his worst game of the series, at -0.323 WPA.

    --- In Game 5, he had an inning-ending groundout with a man on third (-0.043 WPA) and an inning-ending lineout with men on first and third (-0.057 WPA). His total for the day was -0.078, third-worst on the team.

    So yes, he had ten RBI over the weekend. Five of them were important, and the other five were fairly empty. But he also had more than his share of failed at-bats in key situations, which don't show up in the traditional numbers.

    By Blogger jpo, at 3:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home