Improbable Comebacks

In each of the last two games the Dodgers have come to the plate in the 9th inning against Phillies closer Brad Lidge trailing by one run. In each of the last two games Brad Lidge has blown the lead and the Dodgers have gone on to win the game.

On Friday the Dodgers were down 3-2 when the bottom of the 9th began. Brad Lidge got two quick outs, striking out Rafael Furcal and getting Orlando Hudson to ground out. At this point the Dodgers had a 4% win expectancy. Casey Blake then singled, raising the WE to 8%. After that James Loney walked (15.6% WE) and Russell Martin reached on Pedro Feliz's error, but the Dodgers still only had a 25% WE. However, Andre Ethier's double won the game and gave the Dodgers their first improbable comeback. Here's the win probability chart for Friday's game:

20090605_phillies_dodgers_0_score_medium

via www.fangraphs.com

On Saturday the Dodgers began the bottom of the 9th down 2-1. After Mark Loretta grounded out to start the inning the Dodgers WE was down to 9.5%. However, Rafael Furcal subsequently smashed one of Lidge's sliders just over the wall in right field to tie the score and rocket their WE up to 56.9%. The game stayed even until the bottom of the 12th, when on a full count with two outs (and the WE at 53%) Andre Ethier hit a home run to center field to send the crowd home happy again. Here's the win probability chart for Saturday's game:


20090606_phillies_dodgers_0_score_medium

via www.fangraphs.com

So in the last two days the Dodgers have won games where their odds of winning at one point were 4% and 9.5%. What were the odds of winning both of those games? 0.38%!! Put more simply, 1 out of every 263 times a team gets put into these two game situations, they end up winning both games. The Dodgers were that one team. In case you hadn't noticed, this is a pretty special team we're watching.



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