Monday, May 26, 2008

Lost Opportunities

The Dodgers were like a dazed and confused game show contestant today. Behind curtain #1 a first inning leadoff walk. Behind curtain #2, a fourth inning leadoff double. Behind curtain #3, a fifth inning leadoff double. Behind curtain #4, a sixth inning leadoff single. Behind curtain #5, an eighth inning leadoff single and one out double. Look at all of these fabulous prizes that could be won. What is that, you say that I can have what's behind all of these curtains!? All I need is a clutch hit to drive in those runs? Surely, there are many runs to be scored from all of these opportunities? Well, guess again. Clutch hits are hard to come by when the game show is called "Name That Out". The Dodgers had 32 plate appearances today where the leverage index was greater than average. That is a lot of opportunities. The Dodgers managed to OPS .789 in those 32 plate appearances. The problem was, when you take the 6 highest leverage Dodger at-bats, they were 0 for 6. The Cubs on the otherhand, only had 8 plate appearances with a leverage index above the average threshold. In those 8 plate appearances the Cubs managed to OPS 1.214. This number was buoyed by Derrek Lee's first inning two run blast. Another unfortunate occurrence for the Dodgers was when pitcher Chad Billingsley came to bat in the 5th inning, trailing 2-0 at the time, with runners on first and third with only one out. The leverage index for this at-bat was 2.33, a high number that you don't like to see your pitcher bat in.

Win Expectancy Graph

Win Expectancy / Leverage Index (Game Landmarks)
1st Highest Game WPA: .348 - Ryan Dempster
2nd Highest Game WPA: .277 - Matt Kemp
3rd Highest Game WPA: .159 - Juan Pierre
Highest Dodgers LI at-bat: 6.86 - Delwyn Young, Top 8th, Flied Out.
Highest Cubs LI at-bat: 2.35 - Ryan Theriot, Bottom 7th, Force Out.
Largest WPA Play: .204 - Matt Kemp, Top 8th, Double.
Largest Negative WPA Play: -.176 - Delwyn Young, Top 8th, Flied Out.
80% WPA Threshold moment: Top 8th, Delwyn Young, Flied Out (Trail 3-1).
95% WPA Threshold moment: Top 9th, Juan Pierre, Flied Out (Trail 3-1).

Performance Under Pressure

Note: This study looks at all plate appearances in situations that have an above average leverage index (average is 1.00).

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