Last nights game started off looking great. A rough series against the Angels led into Chicago against the terrible White Sox, and the Jays were in front of things early. Estrada was pitching well, and the Jays even managed to put together some runs. With a little help from a scary collision in right field, the Jays were leading 6-0 as late as the sixth. Estrada even finished up the seventh allowing only one run, leaving only two innings of a five run lead to the pen to protect. That’s where things went downhill, with Biagini and Tepera combining to give up four in the eighth, only to see Osuna blow the newly created save opportunity. There are too many words to describe the fucking anguish of watching this team collapse in a short summary, so I direct your attention to some more thoughts on the game from Cam and Stoeten…. As far as WPA…… You might want to scroll right past the image of the chart. Disgusting.
Josh, Russ, Smoak 💣🎊
Osuna and the 'pen 🤦🏼♂️😰
Baseball, it'll break your ❤️
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) August 1, 2017
Starting Pitchers Lines:
Marco Estrada (ND): 7 IP 4 H 1 R 1 ER 1 BB 5 SO
James Shields (ND): 6 IP 8 H 6 R 6 ER 2 BB 6 SO
Only one player on the team had an added win probably above 8%, and it was significantly higher at that. Marco Estrada put forward a solid added probability of 29%, putting the Jays in a prime position to win. When he left the game up 6-1, that’s how things should have turned out too…
A lot of candidates for this one, but only one stands out as the clear “winner”. Roberto Osuna’s second straight blown save destroyed the Jays and contributed an incredible -79.6% WPA.
Posting six runs through six innings, the lineup actually made a decent contribution towards the team’s collective odds of a win. With Martin and Donaldson leading the pack, the sticks combined for an added probability of 15%.
The pitching contribution was an odd one today, as you can imagine with the top and bottom performers both being arms. Estrada’s excellent start was bottomed out by a poor performance from the bullpen, resulting in a sickening -65% WPA.
Highest Leverage At Bat:
The way the game went the Jays hitters didn’t find themselves in too many high leverage situations. The highest leverage index that came in with the Jays at the dish was 1.61, and Darwin Barney at the plate. Barney came up with the Jays already leading 3-0, with two away, and the bases juiced. The opportunity to add on to the lead early was the most “intense”, but the result was anything but. Barney grounded out to shortstop to end the fourth inning, the Jays still up by three.
Highest Leverage Opponent At Bat:
In the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox highest leverage at bat came in at a whopping 7.15. The White Sox, down now by only one run, sent Tyler Saladino to the plate with Adam Engel and Leury Garcia on first and second, and none away. Saladino was in an excellent spot to tie the game up, or at the very least advance the runners moving the winning run into scoring position. For the Jays, a ground ball could lead to a double play sealing the victory. The result was a strikeout, moving things along to Jose Abreu.
Highest Impact At Bat:
The highest impact at bat for the Jays came in the fourth inning. The Jays were only up 1-0 on a Josh Donaldson dinger (a close second at a WPA of 10%) when Russell Martin stepped into the box. The Canadian catcher led off the inning with a bang, sending a Shields high fastball in the zone into the bleachers in left-center. The solo shot to put the Jays up 2-0 added 10.6% to the Jays probability for a win.
Highest Impact Opponent At Bat:
The highest impact opponent at bat came immediately after the Saladino strikeout. Jose Abreu now up in the same situation (runners on first and second down one) but now with two outs had to take advantage. He did. Abreu singled to right scoring Adam Engel, tieing up the game and increasing the White Sox chance of a win by 46.6%.
The Jays continue their series against Chicago tonight with Stroman on the mound against Mike Pelfrey.
(h/t to fangraphs.com for WPA chart and statistics)