Thursday, 23 May 2013

And now for the Worst...

I recently published a Web Log about WPA and the best WPA games. Here are a few notes about the worst WPA games.

The best WPA game for a batter was +1.503 by Art Shamsky, 1966.
The best WPA game for a pitcher was +1.675 by Vern Law, in 1955.

The wosrt WPA game for a batter was -0.820 by Juan Rivera, in 2003 for the Yankees. He managed to go 0 for 6 (with a walk!), but what sunk his performance below all others was the 3 GIDP* in a 10-9 17-inning Yankees win.

*Ground Into Double Play

Rivera got off to a hot start, GIDPing in the top of the 2nd with runners on 1st and 3rd to end the inning (WPA = -0.11).
In the 4th, Rivera flew out with a runner on 1st for the 2nd out of the inning (WPA = -0.02).
Rivera led off the 6th with a groundout (no runner on 1st, too bad) (WPA = -0.02).
In the top of the 8th, Rivera grounded out with the bases empty to end the inning (WPA = -0.03)
In the top of the 10th, Rivera comes up with the bases loaded, 8-8 tie game, and only one out. If you guessed GIDP, you were right! (WPA = -0.35, from 71% chance of Yankee victory to 36%. ouch)
In the top of the 13th, Rivera works a 2 out, bases-empty walk (WPA = +0.03)
In his last at-bat, in the 16th, Rivera comes up with 1 out and runners on 1st and 3rd. He GIDPs (WPA = -0.32, Yankees win chances go from 68% to 36%).

The worst clutch performance ever. Rivera would go on to finish the season with a WPA of -1.1.

For pitchers, the worst WPA game ever was -1.234 by Rawly Eastwick, in 1976 for Cincinnati. The Reds lost 4-3 in 9 innings to Atlanta. Eastwick pitched only 1.1 innings and was tagged with the loss and the blown save.

Eastwick enters the game in the top of the 8th with a 1-0 lead and the Reds win expectancy at 66%. By the end of the inning, the Reds are down 2-1 and their Win Expectancy is down to 28% (WPA = -0.38). The Reds batters score 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th to raise their Win Expectancy of 85%! Eastwick loads the bases and then gives up a double. He is pulled with one out in the inning, with two men on base, and the Reds Win Expectancy at just 9% (WPA = -0.74). Tah dah!

Worst performance ever. Not many relief pitchers get to lose the game twice anymore, so... good for him?

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