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  1. “The D-backs had hit grand slams in each of the first three games of the National League Division Series — surely that streak would end in Game 4, right? Wrong”

    When I read this sentence, I thought to myself, “Wait, did I miss something?” So, I checked the boxscores and did not find it to be true. Now, I’m wondering whether I am misreading what you wrote. Are you really claiming that the Arizona Diamondbacks hit a grad slam in each game of the NLDS except the 5th? They didn’t even score 4 runs in each game. Did you mean that they hit a home run in each game?

    Comment by LTG — November 1, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  2. Apologies. That should have read that they had hit grand slams in each of their last three home games before Game 4. I misheard the audio on the MLB.com video, and forgot to go back and double check before posting. Completely my fault.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — November 1, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  3. Wow, Napoli has already appeared in four of the plays; it was the year of the Napoli!

    Comment by Rogers Hornsby — November 1, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  4. “impactful” is not a word

    http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/impactful.html

    Comment by Brett — November 1, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  5. “Tomorrow, we’ll look at the top five.”

    Tease.

    Comment by Jon L. — November 1, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

  6. It might also be interesting to look at a Series-long version of WPA. Series WPA for the final game of a tied series (like #10 above) should be just the same as listed here, but how many plays from earlier games would make it as well?

    For instance, David Freese’s home run in game #6 might be considered worth only half as much, since the game 6 win only gave the Cardinals a 50% chance of winning the series, meaning .368 * .5 = .184. This method might eliminate everything but series-clinching heroics, but I’d still be interested in seeing someone develop a method to weight post-season WPA by its impact on the whole series.

    Comment by Jon L. — November 1, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  7. I’m seeing “series probability added” on another article posted today, and Freese’s shot gets a .2685. Guess I’ll have to read up.

    Comment by Jon L. — November 1, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

  8. Thank you!

    Comment by steve-o — November 1, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

  9. Negative plays are lacking. I think the biggest play of the series was G3, top of 4th, 1 out. No, not the non-call by umpire at 1st. Bases loaded grounder to Napoli, who made bad throw to Torrealba’s right. Torrealba was not in position to get the important 2nd out, weighting his right foot on the plate awaiting the throw, and unable to move to his right for the throw. I think he was anticipating making the return throw to 1st for the DP. Had they gotten the force, 2 outs. Two runs don’t score. Might have gotten 3rd out on the next pitch, if so the third run doesn’t score. Do Cards score 10 more anyway? Doubt it. Different ball game. Maybe Pujols doesn’t get the same pitches to hit 3 HR. Maybe games 6 and 7 never happen! How does this methodolgy take such plays into consideration?

    Comment by Strike Three! — November 1, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  10. It could be argued that if a word is so widely used that it appears in a list of “common errors in English usage”, then it most certainly is a word, whether it is a “well thought of” word or not. Constantly evolving language, you know?

    Comment by JG — November 1, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  11. I think the burden of proof is on the Chaotic Butterfly of Hypotheticals to say for sure that it would have changed the game and that Pujols would not have hit those home runs, that Rangers win the Series in 5, etc.

    It’s fun to think about what might have happened if Napoli made a perfect throw (or maybe it isn’t much fun if you were pulling for the Rangers), but it’s pretty tough to quantify chaos theory in terms of WPA when you’re depending on the results of the subsequent 4.5 innings being different somehow.

    Comment by JG — November 1, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

  12. You wouldn’t think it would be so easy to win the nerd-off on a baseball statistics site.

    Comment by Judy — November 2, 2011 @ 12:21 am

  13. Yeah, but adding words like “impactful” to the lexicon is just a “preventative” action against lazy people’s mistakes.

    Comment by steex — November 2, 2011 @ 10:17 am

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