Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Win Probability Graphing: Game 3 of the 1983 World Series

I will be doing Win Probability graphing during the season during Oriole games so I thought it would be fun to try it on an important game in O’s history, Game 3 of the 1983 World Series. (What is Win Probability? See this article.)

After John Denny had outdueled Scott MacGregor 2-1 at Memorial Stadium, the O’s were able to rally in Game 2 to batter Charles Hudson and chase him from the game in the 5th with Mike Boddicker taking the win 4-1. Now Baltimore would travel to Veteran’s Stadium with the unenviable task of facing Steve Carlton in Game 3. Mike Flanagan took the mound for the O’s and scattered 6 hits over the first four innings but two of those hits were leadoff homers; Gary Matthews hit one in the 2nd and Joe Morgan launched one in the 3rd. The O’s had mustered but one hit against Carlton until a two-out double form Rick Dempsey in the 5th. Flanagan was pulled for pinch-hitter Ken Singleton who promptly was called out on strikes. Down 2-0 to one of the most dominating pitchers of his time, the O’s prospects looked grim.

Jim Palmer relieved and held the Phillies scoreless in their half of the 5th and in the top of the 6th Dan Ford belted a solo homer to give the Orioles hope. (Ford slugged .480 against lefties in 1983.) Palmer was wild in the Phillies 6th but managed to strand two and hold the score at 2-1.

The Birds looked to go quietly in the 7th as Dauer and Cruz flied and grounded out respectively but then Rick Dempsey had yet another two-out double and Carlton uncorked a wild pitch allowing Dempsey to advance to third. Benny Ayala, pinch-hitting for Palmer, singled to left scoring Dempsey and tying the game. (It would be Ayala’s only at-bat in the series.)

Carlton was pulled for NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Al Holland. Holland quickly gave up a single to John Shelby but had looked to escape by inducing a groundball from Ford to SS Ivan De Jesus. However, De Jesus botched the play allowing Ayala to score from second and give Baltimore their first lead, a lead they would not relinquish.

Sammy Stewart came in to pitch in the 7th and issued a leadoff walk to Joe Morgan who was then thrown out by Dempsey trying to steal second. That would be the only baserunner Stewart would allow as he would strike out four over the course of two innings. Tippy Martinez closed out the game with a 1-2-3 9th inning and gave the O’s a 3-2 win and a 2-1 lead in the World Series which they would eventually win.

The Heroes:

Sammy Stewart (.249) and Tippy Martinez (.200) pitching in very crucial situations are the heros in terms of WPA. Benny Ayala (.179) and Dan Ford (.170) moved the needle with their hitting and Ford gets a little extra credit for hitting the ball Ivan De Jesus botched even if it doesn’t show up in the numbers. Gary Roenicke (-247) didn’t help the cause going 0-4 with a strikeout and hitting into a bases-loaded double-play in the 4th.

The Goats:

Ivan De Jesus (-.230) blew the game with his costly error. The next closest player with a negative WPA was Pete Rose (-.88) who led off the ninth as a pinch hitter and grounded out to third. This one is clearly on De Jesus’ shoulders. Playing well in the losing cause were Gary Matthews (.106) and Al Holland (.102) who was terrific in relief of Carlton.

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