Good News: Molina’s Awful Playoff Game Is Not the Worst Ever

by Jason Epstein

David Schoenfield of ESPN’s Sweet Spot blog describes the All-Star Cardinal catcher’s miserable afternoon at the plate in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series: two double-play ground balls and as many strikeouts.

Interestingly, Schoenfield discovered, via Fangraphs’ version of win-probability added, that Molina’s day (-.326) wasn’t even close to being the worst ever in a postseason game. It wasn’t remotely close to being the most miserable affair of this playoff series.

The top (bottom?) eight include:

7. Jose Canseco, Red Sox, 1995 ALDS, Game 1 (-.503)
In a 5-4 loss in 13 innings, Canseco went 0-for-6, including lining into a double play with two on in the 10th and striking out with two on to end the 12th.

6. Michael Young, Dodgers, 2013 NLCS, Game 1 (-.523)
Young only had two at-bats, but they were killers, as you should remember since they happened just a few days ago on Oct. 11. In the 10th inning, he flew into that inning-ending double play. In the 12th, with two runners on he grounded into another double play. . . .

2. Cliff Bolton, Senators, 1933 World Series, Game 4 (-.547)
Bolton pinch hit in the bottom of the 11th, down 2-1, bases loaded, one out. He grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. WPA doesn’t factor in the pitcher: Carl Hubbell, who went all 11 innings to get the win for the Giants.

1. Felix Millan, Mets, 1973 World Series, Game 2 (-.563)
Millan struck out in the first, grounded out in the third, grounded out with a runner on in the fifth, was intentionally walked in the sixth, flew out in the eighth, flew out into a double play to end the 10th and popped out with runners at first and third and one out in the 12th.

Here’s the kicker: The Mets ended up winning the game. After Millan popped out, Willie Mays singled in a run and then Oakland second baseman Mike Andrews made two errors that allowed three more runs to score. (This was the famous incident when A’s owner Charlie Finley tried to “fire” Andrews after the game.)

More here.

Right Field

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