A Baseball Weblog

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Biggest plays of the postseason

Everyone loves a clutch performance, especially in the playoffs. As we all prepare ourselves for the beginning of the World Series between the Phillies and Yankees, I thought it would be fun to look back at the games so far this postseason and see what was the “biggest” play, the play that drastically changed the outlook of the game. What better statistic to use for that than WPA (explanation here). So, courtesy of baseball-reference’s postseason play-by-play logs, here are the top eleven plays of the postseason through the lens of WPA:

1. Jimmy Rollins' double off of Jonathan Broxton - NLCS Game 4 - 0.82 WPA
2. Vladimir Guerrero's single off of Jonathan Papelbon - ALDS Game 3 - 0.57 WPA
3. Alex Rodriguez's homer off of Joe Nathan - ALDS Game 2 - 0.45 WPA
4. Ronnie Belliard's single off of Ryan Franklin - NLDS Game 2 - 0.44 WPA
5. Alex Rodriguez's homer off of Brian Fuentes - ALCS Game 2 - 0.43 WPA
6. Jeff Mathis's double off of Alfredo Aceves - ALCS Game 3 - 0.43 WPA
7. Ryan Howard's double off of Huston Street - NLDS Game 4 - 0.38 WPA
8. Mark Teixeira's homer off of Jose Mijares - ALDS Game 2 - 0.35 WPA
9. Mark Loretta's single off of Ryan Franklin - NLDS Game 2 - 0.34 WPA
10. Jayson Werth's double off of Huston Street - NLDS Game 4 - 0.34 WPA
11. Yorvit Torrealba's double off of Ryan Madson - NLDS Game 4 - 0.34 WPA

So, Jimmy Rollins' double off Jonathan Broxton in the 4th game of the NLCS was the "clutch-iest" hit of the postseason so far. Not a big surprise, since that one hit took the Phillies from one out away from a disappointing loss (and a 2-2 series tie) to a thrilling comeback win (and one win away from the World Series). Here is an HTML of the spreadsheet, which includes detailed play descriptions.

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