FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Jeff Brantley was so clutch!

    Comment by Nice — July 18, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  2. Eric Davis (!)

    Before there was Ichiro!, there was Eric Davis (!)

    Comment by Choo — July 18, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  3. Why is WPA greater for 1 than for the other 2? They were all in bottom 9, bases loaded, 1 out, down by 1. Does WPA adjust for run environment?

    Comment by Hizouse — July 18, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

  4. I find it hard to believe that Wilson Valdez wasn’t the GIDP protagonist of at least one of these scenarios.

    Comment by Chris R — July 18, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  5. Man, I forgot out crazy that 2000 season from Hidalgo was. 40+ homers and doubles.

    Comment by Mark Geoffriau — July 18, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  6. Well, there were those two double plays in Game 2 of the Phillies-Yankees 2009 World Series. Those were worse.

    Comment by bc — July 18, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  7. Bingo

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — July 18, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  8. You have two examples of walks being good for the defense to set up the double play – which they got. Therefore, it is possible to have a larger negative. If a hitter lined into a double play with runners on second and third with one out to end a one run game that would presumable give a slightly more negative WPA. I’m sort of surprised that hasn’t happened since 1974.

    Comment by MikeS — July 18, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  9. The linear weights might have been updated for season.

    Looked at from that perspective, the premise of this article is moronic. Obviously the biggest negative WPA in a season (on a DP) comes from down by 1, bases loaded, 1 out DPs. So then this article asks, in which years do the linear weights make that play even worse than in other years.

    It has nothing to do with what is going on in that game, just has something to do with how the batter vs pitcher averages were shaking out that year.

    You will notice that there are in the middle of the ‘roid era, so presumably that is when having bases loaded with one out had the highest value. Because of this, there were probably lots of team mates who had a hard time controlling their rage afterwords.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — July 18, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  10. Well, as Mike S. says below, I suppose it’s interesting that apparently no since 1974 has lined into a double play with men on 2d and 3d, down 1, bottom 9th.

    Comment by Hizouse — July 18, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  11. Technically shouldn’t the tie be for second?

    Comment by JamesNeuf — July 18, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  12. He said he’s excluding those, since those aren’t really fair.

    Comment by Ben — July 18, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  13. I callz ‘em as I seez ‘em.
    By the way, SI.com has never looked so good. Love the new orange font. Keep up the good work Nat Klasson!

    Comment by Brian Gorman — July 18, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  14. I really should learn to read one of these days. Sorry.

    Comment by MikeS — July 18, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

  15. You are correct about the event weights, but I’m not sure how that makes this any more “moronic” than (analogously) two hitters in different seasons having the exact same line but having different batting runs above average because of different seasonal run environments and park adjustments.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — July 18, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  16. i was about to say that.

    Comment by Jacob — July 18, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  17. it’s not surprising that an IBB to load the bases with 1 out in the bottom of the ninth increases WPA to the road (pitching team). this happened in 2 of the 3 examples in the list

    Comment by Jacob — July 18, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  18. In his 2000 and 2003 season it’s widely speculated that Richard Hidalgo was all hopped up on Mountain Dew.

    Comment by The Only Nolan — July 18, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  19. If there’s a League Championship version of WPA, i.e. how does a given play affect the chances of a team winning their Division or the Pennant or whatever, then this discussion might be more interesting, I think. A critical GDP to end a team’s season would be the sort of thing I would classify as the “worst ever”.

    Comment by RobBob — July 18, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  20. No worries! I think that would also be an interesting series of dp’s to look at.

    Comment by Ben — July 18, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  21. When you say the batters just grounded out, are you saying for certain they just hit a routine dribbler to an infielder or did any of them make a great defensive play to turn the dp?

    Comment by Ben — July 18, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  22. Yes

    Comment by Ben B — July 18, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  23. (what a wonderful cast of characters)

    Wow… Daryle Ward, John Rocker, Richard Hidalgo, Kerry Ligtenberg, and Ken Caminiti mentioned. Looking at the play log, I also see a Quilvio Veras, Brian Jordan, John Burkett, Reggie Sanders, and something called a Wally Joyner. That truly is a remarkable cast of characters.

    Comment by gnomez — July 19, 2011 @ 2:44 am

  24. @Matt Klassen, the thing is that nobody (who is qualified) hits only homers. Here, we know the play (bottom of the ninth…)

    The linear weights assume that they are facing a league average pitcher, but one might have been facing Mo and another might have been facing some wash-up who was the only pitcher left in the second game of a double header. The latter case would be a worse GDP than the first, even if pitchers *in general* were better in the year the first one occurred.

    The point is you are adjusting a single game for the year it is in. This makes sense for a year’s worth of performances (as your example points out), but not for a single game.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — July 19, 2011 @ 9:58 am

  25. It depends on which direction you are counting from. I prefer to count from +? down to 1.

    Comment by LTG — July 19, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  26. Hmmm… that did not publish correctly. The ‘?’ should have been an infinity symbol.

    Comment by LTG — July 19, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  27. … and this is true for a lot of other stats, too. LWPA gives a lot of context, but not all of it. As is often said, WPA is a “story stat.” I don’t think that makes it irrelevant or useless for “story” posts like this. Maybe not even “moronic.”

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — July 19, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  28. I used to do it that way, and got corrected for THAT. I’ve seen it both ways. In the Olympics (at least years ago), I remember there being a “tie for second” but those performers both got bronze…

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — July 19, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  29. The way I’ve done this (well, the way WPA “does” it) that doesn’t matter — it takes account of the game stats of the play, not the granular details of of it.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — July 19, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  30. @Matt Klaassen, in this case the stories are all the same–bottom of the last inning, down by one, bases loaded.

    I think you could have looked at all such situations and picked your favorites–that would have been interesting. But I don’t get why I care what year it happened in or why that trumps the exact pitcher the batters were facing.

    The implication of linear weights by year is that Pedro Martinez was a pretty batter friendly pitcher in 2000 while some AAAA player was very hard to face in 2010–it just doesn’t make sense.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — July 19, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  31. To each his or her own, I suppose. I guess I would think I’m looking less for individual players, and more for situations about which to tell stories involving players. Thanks for the discussion.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — July 19, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

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