Couple of quick thoughts on the Red Sox/Yankees tilt today. The one in which the Sox could not protect a 9 run lead. I’m not going to try to get the proper adjective for that kind of thing. I don’t think that word exists. I’m just going to show you two pictures.
The following are win probability graphs, from Fangraphs.com, they illustrate the level of certainty that one team has of winning the game. The first inning begins with the home team at a little better than 50% chance, and eventually the graph ends at one team’s side, top for the home team, bottom for the visitors. The sharper and more frequent the spikes, the more varied and exciting the game action.
The first graph is from a Blue Jays game last year, a game in which they scored seven runs against Felix Hernandez, and then allowed eight unanswered to lose in the bottom of the 9th.
Note that, until the very last two plays of the game, the Blue Jays still had a better than 50% chance of pulling that one out of the fire. The bar graph on the bottom indicates how much impact each subsequent at-bat has in the game. Red bars are game-changing at bats, little bumps are low stress situations. The last five Seattle batters all came up with the game in their hands. It was a crushing defeat, and a failure in the final moment that left a bit of an empty feeling in my gut.
This is from today’s game, NYY at BOS:
It is just a crazy line. The Red Sox are hovering at near 99% certainty of winning, and then the 6th and 7th innings completely destroy their chances, swinging the odds the Yankee’s way in just as extreme a fashion. The leverage bars at the bottom of the graph blip only once after the 7-run 7th. Boston went down to the mat, hard, and stayed there.
I doubt that I’ll see anything quite like that reversal any time soon. I bet Bobby V. is hoping exactly the same thing.