When Prince Fielder hit the 3-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, he changed the win probability for los Cerveceros from 9.6% to 33.1%, good for a .235 WPA. It was a huge hit, of course, and the tying blast by Casey McGehee (.187 WPA) off Brandon Medders' first pitch was only slightly less dramatic. A fine start by Da Beezy was suddenly in tatters. Matt Cain hurt himself with walks last night when down 3-1, BZ managed to hurt himself with walks tonight while having a 4-0 lead. If you depend on pitching to win, you have to pitch well to win.
Another great performance for Pablo Sandoval, who kept delivering every time up. I seem to remember another 22-year old who flashed some skillz with the stick back in the day. I wonder if this 22-year old has as bright a future. Will Clark had the pedigree, of course, and the hopes and dreams of the faithful as well. I know we all remember the 96- and 100-loss seasons in 1984 and 1985. Clark's arrival in 1986 was like manna to the fookin' Israelites. Pablo emerged from minor league obscurity, leaping levels at age 21, establishing himself as a genuine prospect in 2008. Now he's one of the best hitters in the league! (Note that he and David Wright are neck-and-neck in OPS.) Can he be The Man for this team all seson long?
It was great to get to Hoffman in the 9th--he lowered the Brewers win expectancy from 50% to less than 10% in short order. Sadly, it was not to be for our beloved Gigantes. Brian Wilson, in a supreme act of closer one-upmanship, gave it all away. Hardy's game-tying hit was worth .369 WPA, and Fielder's coup de grâce came in at .386. Alas, I thought we had number forty in the bag. We'll see what Ryan Sadwoski can show us tomorrow.