Game-Changer: Fuld’s Error | The Process Report

Game-Changer: Fuld’s Error

Already trailing 2-0 after allowing two first-inning home runs, Jeff Niemann was on the verge of rebounding with a 1-2-3 second inning. With two outs in the inning, Mark Teahen lifted a flyball to leftfield. In typical Chicago fashion, the ball became caught in a wicked jet stream adding in Sam Fuld misplaying the ball.

Even though it was early on in the game, the offensively challenged Rays had just a 29% chance of wining before Fuld’s error. The error itself only moved the needle two percent; however, that extra 2% (you knew it was coming) led to an extra at-bat for the White Sox. With Teahan standing at second, Brent Morel doubled to center field scoring Teahen. In the next at-bat, Morel would come around to score on a Juan Pierre single.  The White Sox would take a 4-0 lead and the Rays would never get close after that.

The actual error by Fuld had a minimal effect on the win expectancy. Meanwhile, the aftermath of misplaying the third out changed the game quite a bit. After the two runs scored on Morel and Pierre’s RBI hits, Chicago held an 86% chance of winning after just two innings of play.

In the end, the ultimate game-changer for the Rays remains the futile offense. That said, run prevention becomes even more important when you are struggling to push across runs. Niemann failed to execute on the mound, and the wind created a difficulty, however, Fuld (one of the few bright spots in the early season ) misplaying the potential inning-ending flyball made an already difficult situation (or as difficult as being down 2-0 in the second inning can get) , even worse.

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