July 22, 2006

What If -- The Play-by-Play

Diamond Mind president Tom Tippett discusses the whole project.

Yankees 8th:
Johnson pops out to shortstop.
Jeter doubles to right.
Williams singles to center, Jeter scores, Red Sox lead 5-3.
What If -- Embree comes in two batters earlier than he did in Reality:
Matsui grounds out, shortstop to first.
Posada walks, Williams to second.
Giambi strikes out.

Red Sox 9th (against Rivera?):
Mueller grounds out, second to first.
Varitek strikes out.
Damon grounds out, shortstop to first.

Yankees 9th:
Timlin relieves Embree.
Sierra (pinch-hitting for Wilson) lines out to first.
Garcia walks on four pitches.
Soriano strikes out.
Johnson walks.
Jeter grounds out, third to first.

Red Sox win 5-3 and win the pennant.
I got the info from the SoSH thread. But there's at least one error: Williams could not have gone to second on Posada's walk because he was already on first when Matsui grounded out. So either that was a force play, and Matsui advanced to second on the walk, or Williams got to second on the grounder and remained there after the walk.

And Jeter, with two men on and two outs in the last of the ninth, is the potential pennant-winning run. And he makes the last out of the Yankees' season. Yay.

Posted at SoSH (from the Revealed segment afterwards, I guess):
In 82 of 100 simulations with Pedro taken out, Sox win.
In 15 of 20 simulations with Pedro left in, Sox win.
And some quotes from the discussion:

Tudor Fever:
According to the Maple Street Annual, the average likelihood of a home team winning when down by 3 at the bottom of the 8th is 9.1%. Down by 2 with one out and a man on first, the average likelihood is 18.5%. This lends a lot of credibility to the 82 of 100 win rate in the simulations. It also shows that Grady's decision to leave Pedro in to start the 8th may have already doubled the Yankees winning chances by the time he left Pedro in to face Matsui.
what I don't understand about the game is that now, 2 years later, people outside of a select few on this site are actually talking about Nixon's non-play on Jeter's double.

Mistakes of the mind are much harder to forgive than mistakes of the body, IMO, and therefore Grady does deserve all of the heat he gets. But when people talk about Trot Nixon, defensive whiz, they must completely forget about this play that most RF aged 14 or over would have made ...
Smiling Joe Hesketh:
Grady's brain cramp rightfully outshines the Nixon screwup. Through the first 6 innings, Pedro gave up only 3 hits. In the 7th alone, he gave up 3 hits, a good indication he was getting tired. In the 8th, he was allowed to give up FOUR MORE HITS before finally being pulled out of the game. ... I'm getting pissed off again.
I agree Nixon's play was bad. But one thing that reduces attention to it (in addition to the 'dirt dog' stuff) is that the initial camera angles made it tough to figure out how playable the ball really was.

Grady's mistake was so blatantly obvious to people watching that the fielding equivalent from a recognition level for fans would be dropping a pop-up...and then throwing the ball into the stands after dropping it. The CF stands, that is. That's a tough standard to meet.

1 comment:

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: I detest this whole exercise, because it implicitly suggests that if the "what if?" scenario also lost the game, Grady would be off the hook. Grady's call was cowardly, negligent and dumb if Pedro had struck out the side. It was inexcusable if we could know that in an alternate universe Embry and Timlin had blown the game, or if Willimason had been torched in the 9th. It went against how Little had managed all year, Pedro's recent performances, his perfomance in that game, the momentum of the series and the way the bullpen was set up. It went against all logic, except one: the logic of a man afraid to do his job.

It was the single stupidest move I ever seen or heard of in an important Sox game...worse than McCarthy's choice to start the 1948 play-off, worse than Williams starting Lonborg on only 2 days rest in Game 7 in '67, worse than Darrell Johnson taking out Willoughby in Game 7 in '86, worse than Mac letting Schiraldi start the 10th in the 6th game in '86, or leaving Buckner in, or leaving Clemens and Boyd in the pen in game 7 while Nipper lost it.

What might have happened doesn't change a thing. And while '04 erases a lot, it doesn't erase this.