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7+ Games In A Post-Season With WPA>=.05

Posted by Steve Lombardi on December 17, 2010

There's two things that jump out at me when I look at this list.

Link to query used to derive the list below.

Rk Player Year #Matching   PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Alex Rodriguez 2009 10 Ind. Games 47 37 16 4 0 6 17 7 4 .432 .553 1.027 1.580 0 0 1 3 0
2 Barry Bonds 2002 10 Ind. Games 44 23 12 2 1 6 12 21 3 .522 .750 1.478 2.228 0 0 9 0 0
3 Bernie Williams 1996 9 Ind. Games 43 36 17 3 0 5 12 7 6 .472 .558 .972 1.530 0 0 1 0 0
4 David Ortiz 2004 9 Ind. Games 47 36 17 3 1 5 19 11 7 .472 .596 1.028 1.624 0 0 3 0 0
5 Troy Glaus 2002 9 Ind. Games 39 35 17 1 1 7 12 4 4 .486 .538 1.171 1.710 0 0 0 0 1
6 Albert Pujols 2006 8 Ind. Games 34 28 14 3 0 3 6 5 3 .500 .588 .929 1.517 0 0 2 1 1
7 Albert Pujols 2004 8 Ind. Games 37 32 20 4 0 6 14 5 1 .625 .676 1.313 1.988 0 0 0 0 1
8 Hideki Matsui 2003 8 Ind. Games 36 32 13 3 0 2 7 3 3 .406 .472 .688 1.160 0 0 0 1 0
9 Rickey Henderson 1989 8 Ind. Games 39 30 14 1 3 3 8 8 2 .467 .590 1.000 1.590 0 0 0 1 0
10 Lance Berkman 2005 8 Ind. Games 37 25 9 3 0 2 13 11 7 .360 .541 .720 1.261 0 1 3 0 0
11 Carlos Beltran 2004 8 Ind. Games 36 30 17 2 0 8 14 5 4 .567 .639 1.433 2.072 0 0 0 1 0
12 Sandy Alomar 1997 8 Ind. Games 35 34 17 1 0 5 19 1 2 .500 .514 .971 1.485 0 0 0 0 2
13 Larry Walker 2004 7 Ind. Games 33 28 14 4 1 4 8 4 6 .500 .576 1.143 1.719 0 0 0 1 0
14 B.J. Upton 2008 7 Ind. Games 34 28 13 1 0 5 13 5 6 .464 .529 1.036 1.565 0 1 1 0 1
15 Scott Spiezio 2002 7 Ind. Games 31 27 13 3 1 3 16 4 0 .481 .548 1.000 1.548 0 0 2 0 1
16 Benito Santiago 2002 7 Ind. Games 33 28 13 2 0 2 14 4 6 .464 .515 .750 1.265 0 1 1 0 1
17 Tim Salmon 2002 7 Ind. Games 33 28 13 2 0 3 10 4 6 .464 .545 .857 1.403 0 0 1 1 0
18 Edgar Renteria 2004 7 Ind. Games 30 25 12 4 0 0 7 4 5 .480 .567 .640 1.207 0 0 0 1 0
19 Manny Ramirez 2007 7 Ind. Games 33 22 11 2 0 3 14 11 5 .500 .667 1.000 1.667 0 0 2 0 1
20 Tony Pena 1987 7 Ind. Games 24 22 12 1 1 0 1 2 2 .545 .583 .682 1.265 0 0 0 0 0
21 Greg Olson 1991 7 Ind. Games 30 23 9 2 0 1 5 7 2 .391 .533 .609 1.142 0 0 0 0 0
22 Paul O'Neill 1998 7 Ind. Games 33 30 11 2 0 2 4 3 3 .367 .424 .633 1.058 0 0 0 0 1
23 Fred McGriff 1995 7 Ind. Games 33 29 14 4 0 4 9 4 4 .483 .545 1.034 1.580 0 0 1 0 0
24 Hideki Matsui 2009 7 Ind. Games 26 19 11 2 0 3 12 7 3 .579 .692 1.158 1.850 0 0 0 0 0
25 Kenny Lofton 2002 7 Ind. Games 34 31 16 1 1 1 5 2 1 .516 .559 .710 1.269 0 0 0 1 0
26 Mark Lemke 1996 7 Ind. Games 30 27 12 3 0 1 7 3 3 .444 .500 .667 1.167 0 0 0 0 1
27 Chuck Knoblauch 1991 7 Ind. Games 32 25 11 2 0 0 5 5 2 .440 .516 .520 1.036 1 1 0 0 0
28 Chipper Jones 1996 7 Ind. Games 30 23 13 3 0 1 8 6 2 .565 .633 .826 1.459 0 1 0 0 0
29 Charles Johnson 1997 7 Ind. Games 30 25 11 2 0 2 8 3 7 .440 .517 .760 1.277 1 0 0 1 0
30 Ryan Howard 2009 7 Ind. Games 31 25 9 3 1 2 13 5 6 .360 .452 .800 1.252 0 1 1 0 0
31 Tony Gwynn 1998 7 Ind. Games 28 28 12 2 0 1 6 0 3 .429 .429 .607 1.036 0 0 0 0 0
32 Cecil Fielder 1996 7 Ind. Games 30 24 11 1 0 3 12 6 6 .458 .567 .875 1.442 0 0 1 0 0
33 Lenny Dykstra 1993 7 Ind. Games 35 26 10 1 0 5 9 9 4 .385 .543 1.000 1.543 0 0 1 0 0
34 Tom Brunansky 1987 7 Ind. Games 28 24 10 4 0 2 10 4 3 .417 .500 .833 1.333 0 0 0 0 0
35 Rich Aurilia 2002 7 Ind. Games 32 25 12 3 0 3 12 2 3 .480 .517 .960 1.477 3 1 0 1 0
36 Willie Aikens 1980 7 Ind. Games 30 26 12 0 1 4 10 4 8 .462 .533 1.000 1.533 0 0 0 0 0
37 Benny Agbayani 2000 7 Ind. Games 30 25 9 3 0 1 4 5 5 .360 .467 .600 1.067 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/17/2010.

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The first thing is seeing A-Rod, Bonds, Big Papi and Glaus at the top end of the list - just because they've been linked to PEDs in the past. But, the second thing is that 1987 post-season for Tony Pena. For a guy who wasn't a great batter, in general; and, for a guy who hit like a pitcher that season, man, he had one heckuva post-season. I guess it got lost because it came in a losing effort?

And, if I had to have a third thing, it would be Bernie Williams in 1996. Was that all Creatine shakes at work?

This entry was posted on Friday, December 17th, 2010 at 4:16 pm and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

23 Responses to “7+ Games In A Post-Season With WPA>=.05”

  1. For me it's Bonds. 23 AB and 21 BB. That's not just respect. It's fear.

  2. No Mr. November?

  3. Why the heck would you turn a neat finding like this into a debate about PEDs? This seems reckless and unfair.

  4. J-Doug. Sorry. That's not my intent. It's pretty much a fact that PED use has come up in the past for A-Rod, Papi, Bonds and Glaus. That's why it came to my head when I saw their names on the top of the list. I never meant to make this a platform for a debate.

  5. I know RBI's are overrated, but Tony Pena had just 1 RBI and 5 runs in those 7 games.

    And wow. Carlos Beltran is quite a bit removed from those magical 2004 playoffs. I remember that epic series against the Cardinals. Amazing he hit those 8 homeruns in the playoffs and never even made it to the World Series. Is that a record?

  6. Ya, just looked it up. Barry Bonds in 2002 and Carlos Beltran in 2004 are the only players to ever hit 8 homeruns in 1 postseason, but Bonds hit 4 in the WS. 4 in the NLDS and 4 in the NLCS for Beltran.

    B.J. Upton (2008), Jayson Werth (2009), and Troy Glaus (2002) all hit 7 in one postseason. Upton actually hit all 7 of his pre-WS while Werth hit 2 and Glaus hit 3 in the WS.

  7. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Is there ANY top performance list that Pujols has yet to make?

  8. Pujols the only player on there twice I think...

    Interesting that Derek Jeter never made the list.

    Also, no pitchers made the list? I thought maybe Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling might've done it. Maybe 7 games was just one too many.

  9. @8

    Yank fans cry about ARod "choking" & Jeter being "clutch" :-|

  10. Kinda surprised Cody Ross didn't make it.

  11. I haven't given much thought to WPA before. Can someone please address:

    B-R says, "It is highly dependent on the context in which a player played." What is meant by "context" here? Does it include historical context (league R/G) and/or the detailed context of exactly who is pitching for both teams? Or is it only about generic in-game context, without regard to the time or the identity of the players involved?

    In other words, does a leadoff HR always have the same WPA value? Or does it count more in 1908 than in 1996; more against a great pitcher than a lousy one; more in support of a great pitcher than a lousy one, etc.?

    I'm not implying that WPA is worthless if it doesn't adjust for all those things; obviously, it would be colossally hard to make those adjustments. I'm just trying to grasp exactly what is being measured.

    And if anyone can point me to a more detailed primer on WPA, I would be grateful.

  12. The other thing I'm missing is a sense of scale and frequency -- just how valuable and unusual is a 0.05 WPA?

  13. Trying to get acquainted with the scale and frequency, I ran Steve's search at some higher WPA levels:

    >= 0.20 WPA: 4 games, by 7 players, most recently Lance Berkman, 2005 NLDS (1), NLCS (1), WS (2). The last 3 of these were losses for the Astros. Others: Albert Pujols & David Ortiz 2004, Troy Glaus 2002, Junior Griffey & Fred McGriff 1995, and Gene Tenace 1972.

    >= 0.30 WPA: 3 games, Duke Snider, 1952 WS. In game 1, Snider's 2-run HR in the 6th broke a 1-1 tie en route to a 4-2 win. In game 5, he had 3 of the top 5 plays in WPA: 2-out, 2-run HR in the 5th for 4-0 lead; 2-out tying single in the 7th; and GW double in the 11th. In game 6, which could have clinched the Series for the Dodgers, Snider broke a scoreless tie with a HR in the 6th, then homered again in the 8th to get the Dodgers within a run, but the Yankees held on to win and then took game 7 for the championship.

    >= 0.50 WPA, also >= 0.60 WPA: 2 games, Alex Rodriguez, 2004, ALDS games 2 and 4. (Looking at game 4 brought home to me that WPA is blind to whether a run actually scores. In a tie game, A-Rod led off the 9th with a double, which ranks as the 2nd-biggest play of the game, even though he was stranded. In the 11th, he hit a 1-out double, stole 3rd and scored the ultimate GW run on a wild pitch.)

    >= 0.87 WPA, 1 game, Kirk Gibson, 1988 WS game 1.

  14. Steve: Just realized my comment came off way harsher than I intended. I didn't mean to accuse you of anything specifically, but I was just expecting a different take on the data when I first read the list.

  15. And for the flip side:

    -- Worst batting WPA in a postseason game, -0.563, Felix Millan, 1973 WS game 2. In 12 innings, Millan went 0 for 6 with an IBB, but the Mets won anyway, 10-7. It was just an ordinary oh-fer until the 10th, when Millan came up with 1 out and men on the corners and hit a fly to shallow LF; Bud Harrelson tagged and tried to score, but Joe Rudi threw him out. (As I understand it, everything that happened on the play gets "charged" to the batter's account, which in this sort of instance seems quite unfair.) In the 12th, Millan came up in the exact same situation and popped out to 1B, but Willie Mays singled in the go-ahead run and 3 more followed on a pair of errors by Mike Andrews.

    -- No player has more than 2 games in a postseason series with a WPA <= -0.23 ... except, that is, for Morgan Ensberg of Houston in 2005, who had 4 such games. Ensberg (who had a terrific regular season and placed 4th in the MVP vote) went 0-6 with a walk in the marathon NLDS clincher, settled by Chris Burke's HR in the 18th. Ensberg's other 3 bad games came in the WS, swept by the White Sox; in 15 PAs, he had a single, a walk and 6 Ks. (He did hit an early go-ahead HR in the other game....)

    -- Most career postseason games with WPA <= -0.20 is 7, by Jorge Posada. Opportunity is a big factor, of course, but Posada has also had more than his share of postseason struggles, including a .219 WS career BA with 2 HRs in 29 games. (No offense intended, Jorgie.)

    -- Most career postseason games with WPA<= -0.10 is 20, by 2 players. One is no surprise, since he's played more postseason games than anyone in MLB history: Yes, it's Cap'n Jetes, and it's really just the result of volume; his overall postseason stats (in 147 games) are in line with his regular-season. The other was Jeter's occasional teammate and much more noted postseason flopper, David Justice, who in 112 postseason games hit just .229 and slugged .382 compared to his regular-season marks of .279 and .500.

  16. is it me, or are these batting averages way off?

  17. I believe the batting averages are for only the games included in the sample. Thus they would all be much higher than what the player had for that particular post season. I assume that's where you're having issues.

  18. Bernie Williams did steroids???

    Says who?

  19. Soundbounder - at this point, no one. I do recall, in the late '90's, that he mentioned using creatine, but, I could be wrong on that. And, yes, as far as I know, that is not a banned PED.

  20. Johnny Twisto Says:

    John A., you may have figured this all out by now: WPA is adjusted for the generic run-scoring context, park and league, but not for the specific parties involved in the play. Yes, everything gets credited to the batter and pitcher. In that sense WPA is great for measuring the change in game-state, but it could be improved on in how we apportion the credit. +0.05 WPA in a game is not particularly great or notable, but to do it in many games in a row is. Even Albert Pujols had a negative WPA in almost half his games this season.

  21. Matsui is on there twice, too. No surprise, though. The man is amazing in big situations.

  22. Good to see Sandy Alomar Jr. in there for his monster 1997 post-season. Sadly, the only Indians representative.

  23. There are a ton of examples there from 2002: Salmon, Spiezio and Glaus for the Angels, and Aurilia, Lofton, Santiago and Bonds for the Giants.