Grading Wednesday's LDS action: Walk-off wildness
Wednesday brought a pair of late-inning comebacks, so the decisive grades were easy to come by.
|Wednesday was a night to remember for Raul Ibanez and the Yankees. (US Presswire)|
Wednesday was chock full of drama and set up a full slate of Thursday games that could determine the course of the postseason. So let's grade it ...
<img style=Raul Ibanez" data-canon="Raul Ibanez" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_PLAYER" id="shortcode0">: Obviously in this space, we've already rhapsodized about Ibanez's impossibly clutch pair of homers (the first of which tied Game 3 in the ninth, and the second of which won Game 3 in the 12th). To put a finer point on it, Ibanez's first spank, per FanGraphs, improved the Yankees' chances of winning the game from 11.5% to 58.2%. His second spank improved their chances of winning from 64.0% to, um, 100%. That's called making the most of your two trips to the plate.
<img style=Tim Lincecum" data-canon="Tim Lincecum" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_PLAYER" id="shortcode0"> and <strong>Chris Carpenter</strong> and <strong>Miguel Gonzalez</strong>: Did you expect much from this trio on Wednesday? Okay, maybe from a seasoned performer like Carpenter, but as a group? They defied expectations in a big way as they combined for 17 IP, 2 R, 14 H, 16 K and 2 BB. So why "merely" a B? Well, no one's dislodging Ibanez from the the loftiest heights of the report card.
<img style=Orioles" data-canon="Baltimore Orioles" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> vs. Yankees in extra innings: Sparing the Orioles from a worse grade is that, even after Wednesday night's crushing loss, they're still an outstanding 16-3 in extra innings this season. The problem -- and the source of their "C" grade -- is that all three losses have come against the Yankees. The most recent of those three was particularly painful.
Nationals bullpen: After a dominating Game 1, the wheels have come off for Washington relievers. Game 2 was bad enough, but in Game 3 Craig Stammen, Christian Garcia and Ryan Mattheus joined forces to allow four runs on six hits and three walks in 3.0 innings of work. A strength has become a weakness.
<img style=Jose Valverde" data-canon="Jose Valverde" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_PLAYER" id="shortcode0">: He's just not that good. He hasn't been that good, at least by closer standards, all season long, and in Game 4 against the A's he was especially ineffective. Here's his sequence when he started the ninth with a two-run lead and great chance of closing out the series: single, double, double, pop-out, strikeout, walk-off single.
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