Game-Changer: Mark Reynold’s 7th Inning Double | The Process Report

Game-Changer: Mark Reynold’s 7th Inning Double

In a series that featured some really good pitching (or some really bad hitting by the Rays, at least), it only took one big hit to change the complexion of each game. On Friday and Saturday, Brian Roberts was the offensive hero for Baltimore with a two-run double and then a three-run blast the next night. On Sunday, it was a different name; however, it only took one hit in the game to really move the meter.

After allowing one run in the top of the first, Wade Davis cruised through the next five innings. As he strolled to the mound to start the seventh inning the game was tied at 1-1.  Davis quickly got into trouble, allowing back to back singles. With two on, no outs, and Mark Reynolds due up, the Rays win expectancy dropped from 50% at the beginning of the inning down to 35.1% in the span of two batters.  

We talked about Mark Reynolds in our series preview. As a right-handed masher, the best course of action against Reynolds was to throw a right-handed pitcher with a good slider at him. Wade Davis is a right-hander and he does throw a slider; however, mixed results.

Davis fell started the at-bat with two fastballs before throwing a slider on the third pitch. The ball was out of the zone, pushing the count in Reynolds’ favor at 2-1. Davis went to the well again and threw him another slider which was sent down the left field line for an RBI double to give Baltimore a 2-1 lead. By plating one run and putting himself along with Adam Jones in scoring position with no outs, Reynolds changed the win expectancy by 20.2%. Even though J.J. Hardy would drive in two runs in the next at-bat, it was Reynolds’ hit that truly changed the game.

You could make the argument that the Rays went with the right approach in each game, but failed to execute. On Friday, David Price hung a curveball after previously inducing several whiffs on his breaking ball. In the middle game of the series, Joe Maddon attempted to take the power of Brian Roberts away by bringing in the left-handed Jake McGee and forcing Roberts to bat right-handed. This afternoon, Wade Davis seemed to match well against Mark Reynolds in both hand and pitch selection.  

As this series showed, even though you can have a solid process, the results will vary.

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