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Friday, May 05, 2006

Walk Off...Walk

Well, an exciting finish at Coors Field tonight where as I was scoring the game as Jamey Carroll drew the walk off walk in the bottom of the ninth to seal the 5-4 Rockies victory over the Astros. The inning was setup by a throwing error from Morgan Ensberg on a Clint Barmes sacrifice attempt after Brad Hawpe had doubled off Brad Lidge to lead off the inning with the Rox down 4-3. Normally I'm not a big fan of the sacrifice in that situation but with the way Barmes has been swinging the bat and the fact that he's not left-handed that's probably a good move.

To me, the most controversial managerial move of the night occurred in the top of the 3rd inning with the Astros leading 1-0. They had runners on second and third and Preston Wilson coming to the plate to face Byung-Hyun Kim. Again, usually I'm not one to make alot of matchups nor am I a big fan of the intentional walk this case Wilson was 10 for 14 against Kim coming into the game and had plated the first Astros run with a single to right in the first inning with two outs. So when Wilson came up again in the third he was 11 for 15 against Kim in his career.

If you assume at bats are Bernoulli trials in a binomial distribution then the odds of Wilson going 11 for 15 off of Kim are approximately .0015%. That assumes Wilson is normally a .254 hitter against Kim (a value I calculated using Bill James' Log5 method for my article "Tony LaRussa and the Search for Significance". In other words with those assumptions Wilson would be expected to go 11 for 15 approximately 1 out of every 68,000 trials of 15 at bats.

With first base open and a struggling Jason Lane on deck (he's hitting .200 but he has walked 23 times and hit 6 homeruns) I think I might have intentionally walked Wilson and taken my chances.

Kim pitched pretty well with the exception of the Wilson at bats and struck out nine and only walked one in 7 innings of work. Todd Helton, fresh off the DL, singled in four trips and looked a little rusty.

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