Game-Changer: Upton & Kotchman Strikeout In The 6th | The Process Report

Game-Changer: Upton & Kotchman Strikeout In The 6th

One night after changing the game is a positive for the Rays, B.J. Upton finds himself on the wrong side of the game-changer in this one. With runners in scoring position and one out in the sixth inning of a 2-1 game – advantage Yankees – Joe Girardi elected to have starter Ivan Nova walk Matt Joyce to load the bases. With the base already open, the win expectancy on the intentional walk was a minimal gain for the Rays, but the matchup became much more favorable for the Yankees. Instead of Joyce against Nova, Girardi set up right-hander Dave Robertson to face Upton and Casey Kotchman. Coming into Tuesday’s game Robertson had registered 23 strikeouts in 15 innings. He quickly added two more to his season total.

The run expectancy with the bases loaded and one out is just over a run and a half. In a one-run game, the Rays needed just one to change the complexion of the game. Instead, they received back-to-back strikeouts from Upton and Kotchman. On a 2-2 pitch, Upton whiffed on a 95 MPH fastball while Kotchman took a 96 MPH for a called third strike.

After the intentional pass to Joyce, the win expectancy for the Rays sat at 55%. Following the Upton strikeout it dropped down to 42%. Once Kotchman struck out to end the inning, it fell to just 29%. Without a ball in play, the Rays chances of victory decreased by nearly 30%. The Yankees would score two runs in the top of the seventh decreasing those odds even further.

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