Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kuroda Lends A Helpful Arm

Striking first, the Reds took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning when Edwin Encarnacion singled home Adam Dunn. The Reds enjoyed a 62.8% win expectancy at that time. That would be the peak for the Reds, who would struggle to score any more runs. The Dodgers would tie-up the game and take the lead (2-1) in the bottom of the 2nd inning. The most positive WPA event (0.97) in the Dodgers rally was the no out single by Matt Kemp that moved James Loney over to 3rd base. The 2nd inning would end with the Dodgers leading 2-1 and holding a 61% win expectancy. The Reds would tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the 4th inning. Brandon Phillips doubled and stole 3rd base with one out. The double+steal combo added 0.83 worth of WPA, and after Phillips scored on a sac-fly by Encarnacion, the Dodgers win expectancy was trimmed to 53.3%. In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Dodgers would get singles from DeWitt and Hu. After a walk to Ethier to load the bases, Russell Martin came to the plate with the leverage index at what would turn out to be it's highest level of the game (3.36). The Dodgers would score on the at-bat, on a passed ball of all things. Martin would end up flying out, but the Dodgers found themselves up 3-2 after four innings. The Dodgers would then start flirting with the 80% win expectancy level in the bottom of the 5th inning when Matt Kemp scored on an errant pickoff throw that added 0.93 to the Dodgers win expectancy. The Reds would then get a leadoff man on in the 6th and 7th innings, but nothing materialized each time. Heading into the 7th inning stretch the Dodgers maintained an 88.5% win expectancy. James Loney capped off the scoring with a 7th inning solo homerun, which put the Dodgers win expectancy at 93%. The Dodgers then brought in closer Takashi Saito to pitch the 9th inning, even though the Dodgers win expectancy heading into the 9th was 96.5%. Back to back managerial decisions by Joe Torre to use his closer in a very low leverage save situation.

Win Expectancy Graph

Win Expectancy / Leverage Index (Game Landmarks)
1st Highest Game WPA: .249 - Hiroki Kuroda
2nd Highest Game WPA: .175 - Blake DeWitt
3rd Highest Game WPA: .145 - Adam Dunn
Highest Dodgers LI at-bat: 3.37 - Russell Martin, Bottom 4th, Passed Ball
Highest Reds LI at-bat: 2.34 - Edward Encarnacion, Top 7th, Ground Out
Largest WPA Play: .106 - Russell Martin, Bottom 4th, Passed Ball
Largest Negative WPA Play: -.092 - Juan Pierre, Bottom 4th, Line Out
80% WPA Threshold moment: Top 7th, Joey Votto, Ground Out (Trail 4-2).
95% WPA Threshold moment: Top 8th, Scott Hatteberg, Srike Out (Trail 5-2).

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