May 21, 2010


Reds    - 080 010 000 -  9 13  4
Atlanta - 001 020 007 - 10 10 1
When the Reds took the field for the bottom of the ninth with a 9-3 lead, they had a 99.8% chance of winning.

Two Atlanta singles to start the inning barely made a dent: 98.7%. Six batters later, when pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad stepped into the box, the Reds still led 9-6, but Atlanta had the bases loaded with one out. Cincinnati's chances were 81.5%.Looking at data from 1977-2006 (excluding 1999) at the Win Expectancy Finder, the situation at the start of the bottom of the ninth - home team down by six runs - has happened 1993 times.
Games:      1993
Home won: 3
Expectancy: 0.002
The situation when Conrad stepped into the box - home team down by three, bases loaded, one out - has happened 132 times.
Games:      132
Home won: 15
Expectancy: 0.114
I went up there with the wrong helmet on. I was on deck getting ready to face [left-hander Arthur] Rhodes and I ran in and had to change my shin guard and got my other bat but forgot to change my helmet. So I had to move past that pretty quick to get focused for that at-bat. I was just [hoping to] get something up in the air, try to keep the ball off the ground, try to stay out of the double play. ... I was rounding first, and from my angle, it looked like he brought it back. I put my hands on my helmet, like, "No way he brought that back. At least we got the sac fly." Then the fans went crazy and they kept running around the bases. So I started sprinting to get to home plate as fast as I could. Talk about a change of emotion. Going from he caught it to winning the game with a walk-off is pretty cool.
It was only the 23rd time in history that a walk-off grand slam overcame a three-run deficit. Conrad is the second pinch-hitter to do it.

Fangraphs post/comments.

1 comment:

Zenslinger said...

I forwarded this on to my Braves fan friend who taught me to like his team. Great roundup of an amazing comeback.