2012: A Chiefs Odyssey–Jason’s #6

After that last post, KB, I’m wondering why we never photoshopped Jim Negrych’s head onto the grinch’s body.  Would have been a worthwhile endeavor.  Maybe if he’s in Buffalo this year–he signed with the Jays–we can get it done.

6: Long Night, Impossible Odds

Some stats folks have developed a device called “Win Expectancy” for baseball teams.  To use one of these calculators, a person simply has to input the game situation at any time and the algorithm spits out the percent chance that each team will win.

On July 5th, the Chiefs had been home for a full day since losing four games–all by one run–in Norfolk.  Syracuse beat Buffalo on Independence Day to stop the losing streak.  The following night, Buffalo surged out to a 7-0 lead after the top of the 3rd.  At that point, according to “Win Expectancy”, the chances of each team taking the game were as follows:

Buffalo: 98.14%

Syracuse: 1.86%

Only Lloyd Christmas would look at that split and think, “So you’re saying’ there’s a chance…”  But, strange things began to happen:

*Back-to-back 3rd-inning sacrifice flies from Corey Brown and Jarrett Hoffpauir (7-2)

*A 4th-inning grand slam from Jesus Valdez (7-6)

*A two-out, 5th-inning solo home run from Carlos Maldonado (7-7)

At that point, the Win Expectancy calculator says this:

Buffalo: 48.8%

Syracuse: 51.2%

In the 7th, each team scored a run, leaving us at 8-8 in the 8th.  In the bottom of the eighth, Erik Komatsu led off with a single, leaving the Win Expectancies here:

Buffalo: 34.87%

Syracuse: 65.13%

This Win Expectancy doohicky is neat, but it can’t take everything into account.  You have to believe that the Chiefs’ batter in this situation, Corey Brown and his then-19 home runs in 81 games, would have tilted the numbers more dramatically in Syracuse’s favor.  But, Brown popped out attempting to bunt.  Then, Erik Komatsu was caught stealing and the Chiefs didn’t score.  Off to extras.

In the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th, the Chiefs put the leadoff man on first.  In the 13th, that left the Win Expectancy for that game at:

Buffalo: 32.21%

Syracuse: 67.79%

Problem was, the four results after the leadoff men reached were:  flyout, double play, strikeout and popout.  In the 13th, Corey Brown was ejected arguing balls and strikes.  In the top of the 14th, a Matt Tuiasosopo single scored Brad Emaus and Buffalo took the lead for good 9-8.  Win Expectancy:

Buffalo:  100%

Syracuse:  0%

That left the Chiefs 44-44, the last time they were at .500 in 2012.

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