Previous reviews: MIN/NYY

Let’s jump right in.

Best Games

5. Shane Victorino, Game 1
2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB, +.171 WPA

Victornio doubled and scored the Phillies first run of Edinson Volquez in the first inning and had a bases loaded single in the second to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead and an 87% win expectancy.

4. Jayson Werth, Game 2
2-4, 2 R, RBI, SB, BB, +.178 WPA

Werth was also part of the three run seventh, reaching on a fielder’s choice to third. He also had a walk, stolen base, and a run scored in the sixth and singled home an insurance run in the eighth.

3. Chase Utley, Game 2
2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB, HBP, +.190 WPA

Utley had a 2 RBI bases loaded single in the bottom of the fifth to bring the Phillies within within two runs. Later, he was hit by a pitch to lead off the three run seventh which would give Philadelphia the game.

2. Roy Halladay, Game 1
9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 8 K, 1 BB, +.323 WPA

Having the no-hitter at number two certainly seems off. It’s more easily explained when it can be complained to number one:

1. Cole Hamels, Game 3
9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 9 K, 0 BB, +.608 WPA

In the eyes of WPA, these starts are both effectively the same: neither Halladay nor Hamels gave up a run, which is really what matters when it comes to winning games. Throw in the fact that the Phillies scored four runs behind Halladay and only put up two behind Hamels, and it’s pretty clear that Hamels throwing a complete game shutout was more important to the Phillies’ chances of winning than Halladay throwing a complete game shutout.

Obviously, Roy Halladay’s start was special, but it was special in a way not measured by WPA.

Worst Games

5. Placido Polanco, Game 2
0-5, -.145 WPA

Polanco couldn’t do anything against Bronson Arroyo nor the Reds’ relievers. The worst of his at-bats was a bases loaded groundout to end the fourth inning, leaving the Phillies down by one and stranding all three runners.

4. Roy Oswalt, Game 2
5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 K, BB, -.152 WPA

Oswalt didn’t pitch poorly, but all four of the runs he allowed were rendered even more costly by the fact that the Phillies offense couldn’t plate a run in the first five innings. When Oswalt left in the 5th inning, the Phillies win expectancy was all the way down to 12.5%.

3. Joey Votto, Game 3
0-4, K, GIDP, -.224 WPA

Pretty much the entire Reds team was flustered by Cole Hamels in Game 3, but Votto failed in one of the most important situations for the Reds. With the team down 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Votto grounded into a double play for a -.161 WPA, lowering the Reds win expectancy to 1.4% in what would be their final game.

2. Edinson Volquez, Game 1
1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, -.267 WPA

Volquez imploded, throwing a ton of pitches without any results. He gave up four runs right out of the gate, setting up the Phillies and Roy Halladay for a historic NLDS game 1.

1. Aroldis Chapman, Game 2
.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, K, -.506 WPA

Here we see one of the flaws with our implementation of WPA – with the data available to us, it’s essentially impossible to integrate defense into WPA. The big play in Chapman’s outing in game 2 was the line drive by Jimmy Rollins which found its way past Jay Bruce. Now, Rollins hit the ball hard and deserves some credit for that, but Chapman also did his job in the sense that the ball was well within the range of one of his fielders. Still, there’s no denying that the Phillies scored three runs off Chapman in a late and close game situation, and for that Chapman takes the big blow according to WPA.

Best Series
Hitter: Chase Utley, +.260 WPA
3-11, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI

This wasn’t much of a series for hitters, and so we see somebody who made nine outs in 13 plate appearances take home the overall WPA crown for the series. Utley made it count when he reached and when he put the ball in play.

PITCHER: Cole Hamels, +.608 WPA
9 IP, 0 ER, 9 K

See above.

Worst Series
Hitter: Joey Votto, -.237 WPA
1-10, RBI

Simply an atrocious series for the likely NL MVP. Much of this came from that final game in which he was completely stymied by Hamels, but he couldn’t exactly put a game together against Halladay or Oswalt either.

Pitcher: Aroldis Chapman, -.490 WPA

See above; this comes from the poor (and unlucky) game 2 outing and a meaningless 1 IP outing in game 3.

Brandon Phillips: +.111, Top Cincinnati hitter
Bronson Arroyo: +.116, Top Cincinnati pitcher
Ryan Howard: -.074
Jimmy Rollins: +.156

Game Graphs:
Game 1
Game 2
Game 3

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Jack Moore's work can be seen at VICE Sports and anywhere else you're willing to pay him to write. Buy his e-book.

5 Responses to “WPA Review: PHI/CIN NLDS”

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  1. bflaff says:

    Two edits: Chapman didn’t give up 2 HR, and the Phils scored two runs behind Hamels in game 3.

    Please no one ask IF HE WATCHED THE GAME?!? It’s obnoxious.

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  2. Ben says:

    If he watched the game?

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    • bflaff says:

      Seems to be a standard response template for people pointing out mistakes in the recap: Hey [fangraphs author], did you even watch the game? Werth struck out in the 8th inning on 5 pitches, not 6!

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