Last night was a night to remember for Mark Teahen. Forget the box score – Teahen went 3-5 with a triple, a home run, a run scored, 3 RBIs, and a SB – it was the way Teahen refused to let the White Sox lose last night that made Monday, April 12, 2010 against the Toronto Blue Jays a career night for the veteran of five seasons.
Entering the sixth inning, it didn’t appear as though Teahen would even have a good game, much less a special one, as the 9th batter in the Sox lineup had been stymied twice by Blue Jays starter Brian Tallet, with a flyout to center field and a force out to second. At that point, Teahen’s WPA for the night stood at -.059. In that inning, however, Teahen hit a two-out RBI single, tying the game at 6-6, good for a WPA of .146, raising his total game WPA to .087. Teahen added a stolen base, but would be stranded at 2nd, his game WPA at .103 after the SB.
The White Sox bullpen struggled in the 7th, as Randy Williams walked in a run to put the Jays ahead 7-6. The Jays bullpen, behind Shawn Camp and Scott Downs, shut down the White Sox until the 9th inning. Jason Frasor, the Blue Jays closer, then faced Teahen to open the last frame. Frasor’s lead was gone immediately, as Teahen smoked an 0-2 fastball for a solo home run to tie the game. The shot was worth a +.333 WPA, bringing his game total to .436, nearly enough to create an entire win for his team.
The White Sox failed to score again in the 9th, and the game remained scoreless until the 11th inning, when Teahen once again appeared in an important situation – a runner on first and nobody out. Once again, Teahen responded, tripling in the go-ahead run off Jeremy Accardo. The triple earned Teahen another +.329 WPA, bringing his game total up to a whopping +.765. This turned out to be the winning run, as Bobby Jenks managed to close the door in the bottom of the 11th.
The winning team, as a whole, will only have a +.500 WPA. Teahen shouldered the entire load and some more for the White Sox on Monday night in what could be one of the biggest, in terms of clutch hitting and value to the team, performances of the entire year. In his final 3 PAs, in which he went 3-3 with a 3B, a HR, and 3 RBIs, the run he knocked in either tied the game or gave the White Sox the lead. The leverage index of these three plays were 1.86, 2.90, and 3.43, respectively. Teahen came up huge in big spots for Chicago. To do so once can make you a hero. To do so three times in the same game? That’s simply amazing.