Unfortunately, it’s finals week for me and my last final is at 7:45 AM on Thursday morning, so I don’t have time for too deep of an analysis.
The clear turning point of this game was when a ground ball from Jason Heyward got under Prince Fielder’s glove and went for a double, putting the Braves ahead and opening the floodgates. Here’s what the WPA graph would look like if Prince makes that play, represented by the red line:
That single play would’ve put the Brewers at a 64.2% win expectancy – home teams often win games that are tied late. Instead, the Braves had runners in scoring position and the lead, putting the Brewers win expectancy all the way down to 32.8% – essentially a swing of 30%, or 0.3 wins. That’s a very significant play over the course of a game and over the course of a season. Defense can have huge impact in individual plays, and that’s why we in the sabermetric community harp on it so much.