It wasn’t the best weekend, and I’m sure no one wants to look back at Friday’s game against the Reds, but here we go anyways.
Friday L 15-0 @ Cincinnati
Most important pitch (Nationals pitching): Zack Cozart three-run home run (vs Haren, Bottom 3). -0.162
This was the home run that really put the game out of reach. Down 2-0, you are a bloop and a blast from tying the game. This began the downward spiral that was Friday night’s game, but at least it all happened in one game and we never, ever speak of it again. Alright?
(One side note from that game: I feel the first home run that Davey Johnson went out to argue was even more obviously interfered with than the one that was reviewed (and upheld). Of course, my memory may be a little hazy but that was what I had thought upon seeing the replays.)
Most important at bat (Nationals hitting): Jayson Werth ground out (vs Bailey, Top 3). -0.046
Let’s face it, the Nationals didn’t have very many important at bats in this one, but this one was the biggest. Down only 2-0, Werth had two men on and a chance to get the game tied, but grounded out to end the inning. It was the closest the Nationals came to tying the game and Cozart’s three-run home run in the bottom half of the inning sealed their fate.
Saturday W 7-6 (11) @ Cincinnati
Most important pitch (Nationals pitching): Joey Votto triple (vs Soriano, Bottom 9). -0.299
In terms of Win Probability, this was a big swing. It was really the perfect storm of WPA. High leverage, and it allowed the tying run to be at 3rd with the winning run at the plate with no outs. The opportunity was high for the Reds to walk off, but Soriano closed the door after the wild pitch that tied it.
Most important at bat (Nationals hitting): Ian Desmond home run (vs Hoover, Top 11). +0.347
If WPA was done after the fact, undoubtedly the bigger home run would be Wilson Ramos‘s. However it’s done in real time, so Desmond’s home run which gave the Nationals the late lead gets it. Desmond’s story was the ultimate redemption story. Fielder makes errors that cost team lead, then gives team lead with bat.
Sunday L 6-3 @ Cincinnati
Most important pitch (Nationals pitching): Jay Bruce double (vs Strasburg, Bottom 1). -0.158
This double to make the score 2-0 in the bottom of the first had the biggest swing in terms of WPA, not only because of the two runs scoring but because there were two runners in scoring position when the next hitter stepped up to the plate. The game would have many twists and turns, but this one had the biggest swing.
Most important at bat (Nationals hitting): Kurt Suzuki home run (vs Cueto, Top 2). +0.232
All of the gains made by Cincinnati in the bottom of the first were erased with one swing by Suzuki, hence the biggest swing of the game. The score remained this way until the sixth inning and was definitely the most important event with the Nationals hitting.
Honorable Mention: Shin-Soo Choo single (vs Strasburg, Bottom 6). -0.137
This ultimately helped swing the game, but was slightly below Bruce’s double. Of course this single didn’t score any runs, so it is muted in its effect but still is worth mentioning.