Hey baseball Gods, Drew here from Walkoff Walk. I know I don't ask for much (I'm a damn Jays fan!), but I have a special request for today and today only: I need you to rig tonight's Phillies - Pirates game to end in a walkoff walk.
Here look! I've done my best to lay out my argument for your intervention. You see, a walkoff walk is a rare thing. Many, many bizarre occurrences must all come together to provide us with the glorious shrimpy outcome. I've tried (and failed) to crunch some numbers to show how unlikely this is:
- There have only been 6 walkoff walks this year. In about 1200 games (2400 total, we've played half the season.) 6 events out of 1200 is 0.5%. One half of one percent of all games (approx.) end in walkoff walks! Those odds are long, I don't like them.
- The Phllies are the home team. This bodes well. The Pirates pitching staff issues walks around the league average pace though their relief core surrenders nearly 5 walks per 9 innings. That helps, a little. The Phillies are the most patient team, with most of their bench bats being free swingers. On the whole, I don't think this helps our cause much.
- The pitching matchup is unbalanced. Cole Hamels is good. He was great in his last outing versus the Reds. He makes only his second career start verus the Pirates, one more than Pirates starter Russ Ohlendorf. Perhaps the lack of familiarity will keep both offenses in check.
- The teams aren't well matched either. The Phillies are a first place club with strong run differential. They score 5.3 runs per game will surrendering 4.8. The Pirates are mired in last place with a poor offense (only 4.2 runs per game) but with solid run prevention (4.3 runs per game.) My real question remains: how likely are these two to play a tight game?
- The Pirates are unlucky. This helps our case. The Pirates are a little better than their record suggests, meaning they get a raw deal on the regular. They've played 18 one run games this season (below average) and have won only 5. The Phillies are right where they should be at 11-11. The Phillies have 3 walkoff wins, the Pirates have 3 walkoff losses. The Pirates have entered the 9th tied six times, the Phillies 8.
I could go on and on, creating graphs and manufacturing relationships. Anything short of doing actual probability work. The facts remain: a walkoff walk at The Heist tonight is highly improbable but IT ISN"T IMPOSSIBLE. If I compiled all the numbers I just presented, threw them out and made up a number in my head, I'd say there was a 2.23% chance of live shrimp tonight. So we're going to need some help from you baseball Gods. Hopefully you find it in your benevolent wisdom to gift our loyal readers, commenters and crack editorial team a shrimpy send off. Please see to it they are all conscious and not incarcerated as to enjoy it.
Awesome CBP image courtesy of unofficial host Meech of The Fightins!