18-8, Game Reaction
Top three performers in win probability added:
Hyperventilating prospect geek fraternity: Vindication.
Joe Blanton may never want to attempt a bunt again. Brendan Ryan apparently made a great play on Blanton’s bunt attempt in the third inning. I still am waiting to see the replay, but it had John Rooney and Mike Shannon freaking out, so it must have been pretty good. The inning ending DP cost the Phillies -6.3% in win expectancy. Then Blanton got doubled up in on a bunt attempt in the 5th in spite of a wild throw to Skip Schumaker, who was covering first, by Ryan who was covering third. The umpires called Blanton out for standing in the grass, interfering with Yadier Molina‘s throw. That cost the Phils -11.5% in win expectancy.
I thought the Phillies walking Holliday to load the bases was a semi-interesting move. According to The Book, it’s only with two outs when the decision to walk the current batter a function of the difference in skill between the batter (in this case Holliday) and the hitter on deck (Freese). Holliday is a .397 wOBA hitter according to ZiPS, Freese .345. Freese on the other hand is riding a hot streak, while Holliday hasn’t been playing up to his usual standards yet. But knowing that a hitter is in the middle of a hot streak has pretty much nil predictive value. Charlie Manuel, or whoever was managing the game for the Phillies may have had the right idea expecting that the hitter should hit at his predicted norm.
If I’m understanding the principles in laid out in The Book on when the IBB is kosher, the smallest wOBA ratio has to be 1.25 between the hitter at the plate and the hitter on deck, and that’s after doing some factoring of how patient a hitter is on deck. Freese is not the world’s most disciplined hitter, and the ratio fell short – 1.15, meaning that walking Holliday to get to Freese wasn’t the best managerial move. Freese made them pay.