Delayed Reaction to Opening Day
I love my wife. She’s way out of my league, and she treats me better than I deserve. But yesterday, she blew it. I had a master plan: Listen to the Cardinals on the radio while at work, record the White Sox on the DVR. It sounded like a great way to ring in the new season. But alas, even after I reminded my lovely wife to record the game at an hour in advance, she let it slip.
I can’t say that I blame her, though. Her job is harder than mine, having to watch two little kids, and she was also watching a relative’s six-week old daughter on top of her normal duty. I was a little upset to say the least, but I didn’t swear, kick any small animals or throw anything. I always have to remember how many bone-headed things I’ve done in the past; my faults probably outweigh hers by far. But it still stunk, but now that I’ve broadcasted her fault, I forgive her.
I should have thought to record the replay, if for no other reason than to have Buehrle’s Web Gem of Web Gems save permanently. Oh, well. In lieu of some in-depth, hard-hitting analysis, I give you a win probability graph that I yanked from FanGraphs, and more visuals.
Buehrle of course was the big hero, with 26.3% of win probability added. Konerko’s 1st inning homer was the biggest hit of the game, with +17.2% WPA. The game didn’t see too many crucial situations. The leverage index reached its peak at 1.78 in the 3rd, when the Indians had runners on second and third and two outs, and Grady Sizemore at the plate. Jim at SoxMachine (now part of ESPN’s SweetSpot Network!) touched on this earlier; Buehrle got a swinging strike on a perfectly placed low-and-way change, only to come back with a high fastball that brought on a can of corn to Rios.
Westbrook really tossed up a fat one on his first pitch Konerko, who didn’t miss. You can see Westbrook’s approach towards Konerko changed a bit after the mistake.
The offense hit three dingers, as if to say “hey, we’ll still hit home runs. Don’t worry”.
Matt Thornton is still a destroyer his own kind.
Pierre batting first and Kotsay batting fifth doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence among some folks.