Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Big Hits: Miguel Tejada as a Baltimore Oriole

The Miguel Tejada era is complete. While Tejada's arrival did not turn the fortunes of the team around as we had all hoped and we watched him slowly decline in offensive prowess over the last four years, there were some good times. So after calling repeatedly for him to be traded this offseason, I thought I would send Miggy off on a positive note and look back at the 5 biggest hits that he had as an Oriole.

How will I define the biggest hits? I will use Win Probability Added (WPA). What is WPA? This definition will get you started. It basically is a tool that shows how much a single event in a game swings the odds in your team's favor. It is an especially good tool for examining how a player does in the clutch. With WPA, a homer in the first inning of a tie game is not worth as much as a homer in the 9th inning of a tie game.

With that, let's remember the good times...

#5 August 12th, 2007 - .378 WPA - Red Sox

In the bottom of the 8th, Corey Paterson walked and then Markakis hit into a fielder's choice. With one out and the O's down 3-1, Eric Gagne took the mound in relief of Hideki Okajima and Tejada took a 3-2 fastball an deposited it in the leftfield bleachers to tie the game.

The O's would eventually win the game with Kevin Millar's homer in the bottom of the 10th.

#4 May 24th, 2007 - .408 WPA - Blue Jays

There were 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th against the Blue Jays and the Orioles were down 2-1. Corey Patterson was at third and Markakis had walked to set the table for Tejada. Miggy turned that 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead as he laced a homer down the leftfield line off of Shawn Marcum.

The O's would lose this one in the 10th as John Parrish and Danys Baez would fritter away a fine outing from Jeremy Gutherie.

#3 July 18th, 2005 - .408 WPA - Twins

Tied 2-2 with the Twins with 2 outs in the top of the 11th, Tejada sent a ball deep into the left-center seats off of Juan Rincon.

Jorge Julio would pitch a scoreless 11th to close out the 3-2 victory.

#2 May 14th, 2004 - .414 WPA - Angels

Down 9-6 in the bottom of the ninth, the Orioles showed some life as Luis Matos (!?!?) would lead off the inning with a homerun. With one out and Melvin Mora and Brian Roberts on Second and third respectively, Miguel struck a Troy Percival pitch for a single to center to drive them both in, tying the game.

This time, Jorge Julio would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing the Angels to score in the top of the 10th and giving them a 10-9 win.

#1 September 24th, 2004 - .468 WPA - Tigers

The bottom of the 9th started with Roberts and Mora getting on base. Down 5-4 to the Tigers, Tejada took Estaban Yan deep for a 3-run walk-off homer. Simple enough.

I wonder how many big hits Luis Hernandez will deliver?

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