Most Important Nats Hit: Jayson Werth‘s two-run home run (+.189 WPA)
Werth’s hit broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Nationals a lead they would never relinquish. In a very close game like this, such a late hit giving the Nats a (relatively) large lead was bound to be pivotal, and of course, it increased the Nats’ odds of winning by nearly 20 percentage points. Adam LaRoche‘s homer almost immediately after doubled the lead and may have been just as significant in the end given the final score, but makes less of a Win Probability Added (WPA) dent because the Nats already had the lead.
Despite the monstrous differential, the home run was not so significant on the WPA graph. The Nationals had a 95.2% chance of winning before it, and, despite their lead being cut from four to one, still had a 78% chance of winning afterwards. The White Sox would not exceed a 22% chance of winning for the rest of the game, and even Alex Rios‘ homer off Rafael Soriano only registered as -0.023 WPA.
Champ of the Game: Jayson Werth (+o.158) had another RBI in addition to his hugely important home run, and Paul Konerko (+0.195) was 1-2 with the three-run home run and two walks.
Chump of the Game: Tyler Clippard (-0.151) suffered mainly for allowing Konerko’s home run and deservedly so. For Chicago, Jake Peavy (-0.419) had been cruising until he blew up in the sixth.