Most Important Nationals Hit: Tyler Moore‘s two-run single (+0.080)
Making his first start of the year in order to get practice in against left-handed pitching, Moore delivered in a big way. He was 2-5 with three RBIs and a run scored, and his first-inning single gave the Nats a 4-0 lead, which would end up being more than enough runs. By the time the Marlins came to bat, their Win Expectancy was only 17.8%.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Juan Pierre‘s lineout (+0.018)
For the first time since I’ve been doing this post, the most important pitch actually favored the Nationals. Miami’s offense failed to score until the sixth inning, when they trailed 10-0. The most important Miami hit was Rob Brantly‘s -0.009 RBI single, cutting the deficit to seven in the seventh inning. The lineout by Pierre that ended up being the most important pitch of the game was actually Miami’s first batter of the game. WPA massively emphasizes the beginning of games, so when Pierre couldn’t get anything going immediately, the team’s chances took a sizable hit. Most of the time, +0.018 is an insignificant amount, but since Miami’s Win Expectancy got to 0.2% in the fifth inning, it was hard for them to make a scratch afterwards.
Champ of the Game: Moore (+0.126) had an RBI double in addition to his early single, which was enough to give him the lead in WPA. None of the Nationals had extremely high WPAs because the outburst was a team effort. Six offensive players had WPAs above +0.030, and an honorable mention for this award goes to Jordan Zimmermann (+0.101), who threw his first career complete game. For Miami, Brantly (+0.002) was one of only two players with a positive WPA. The other was reliever Ryan Webb, who threw a perfect eighth and was +0.001.
Chump of the Game: This award is not so bad to receive on a great night like tonight, and especially so when the player receiving it still went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored. Only one player on the team had a negative overall WPA: Kurt Suzuki, who was somehow -0.007 despite his strong offensive night. His lone out made ended the first inning, which helped Miami, and he did not have any RBIs, so the logic is there, but no one will say Suzuki or any Nat had a bad game. The opposite could be said for the Marlins. Starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc (-0.366) allowed seven runs in 3.2 IP, getting absolutely hammered and digging his team into a hole far too deep to climb out of. When he exited the game, Miami’s Win Expectancy was 4.5%.