Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Nationals 2014 Game 20: The One That Did Not Slip Away?

Highest Leverage PA:     5.6, PA#60, Ibanez' double vs Clippard, Angels 8th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .370, PA#60, Ibanez' double vs Clippard, Angels 8th.
QMAX rating:             (5,3) for Roark (Uncategorised).
Bullpen Award:           Goat's Head for Clippard.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Werth          0.078
Desmond        0.046
McLouth        0.017
LaRoche       -0.014
Harper        -0.019
Walters       -0.022
Lobaton       -0.031
Roark         -0.045
Span          -0.091
Espinosa      -0.120
Rendon        -0.136

It would be easy to say that this game was one that slipped away from the Nationals, but I'm inclined to think it was never there to begin with. The rest of this note was written during the game itself, including the tenses.

When Adam LaRoche walked to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, I felt that the Nationals needed to score in that inning if they wanted to be sure of winning the game. The gap between the two teams in hits suggested that sooner or later the pendulum would swing towards the Angels. The foul pop made me think it was not going to be the Nationals' night.

I was a bit surprised by the applause for Tanner Roark when he left the game in the seventh. He gave up too many hits and must be regarded as lucky not to have found himself leaving a tie game or worse. Good for him to have such luck, of course.

My sense of foreboding was increased when Tyler Clippard came in to start the eighth. Clippard has not been his old self in the games I have followed this season. By the time we had Kendrick at first, Pujols at third and Boesch at the plate, I felt the moment had come to see this game slip away. At that point my 'leveraged win value' for the game had swung into negative for the first time since the 27th PA in the Angels' fourth. Boesch popped up and I breathed a sigh of relief, only for Aybar's single to tie the game. By the time Clippard left the game, win probability had swung from .734 to .092. That's a 64 per cent shift.

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