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With your feet in the air, and your head on the ground . . .


{Friday, June 13, 2003}

I went to the Red Sox game at Fenway, last night, with a couple of friends from the department. It was maybe the most ridiculous, action packed game I've ever seen . . . starting in the 9th inning. The Sox had nothing happening for the first 8, and were down 3-0. Then in the bottom of the 9th they rallied: Varitek hit a 2-run HR, Walker got a hit, and Nomar nailed a game-tying triple to dead center. Awesome; they left the bases loaded, but hey, we were headed for extra innings.

Then the Cardinals scored 2 in the 10th. Doh! All that comeback for nothing.


With 2 outs, Johnny Damon barely beat out a drag bunt, David Ortiz blasted a double high off the Green Monster, and Nomar got another game-tying hit. The Sox then loaded the bases again, but couldn't bring home the game-winner. The 11th and 12th passed without any scoring, and little drama. Then in the 13th the Cardinals got a runner to 3rd with two outs, and for some reason the Sox decided to intentionally walk Pujols. Up steps Jim Edmonds, and the next pitch lands on Landsdowne St, way, way outta' the park. Cardinals up three, both those comebacks all for nothing.


Bottom of the 13th, the Sox started out with a walk and two singles, scoring one and putting runners at 1st and 3rd. Mueller grounded into a double play, but got the Sox within one run again. Giambi walked; the Varitek was intentionally walked. Then Johnny Damon lofted one down the very short right field line; it was caught a few feet from the wall. Game over.


That was NUTS, though. I decided an analysis was necessary. Based on two days of action, I obtained the following histogram of runs-per-inning:

The simplest analysis is this: given the Cardinals scored what they did, how improbable is it that the Red Sox came back to tie, to extend the game to 13 innings? Teams score 3 runs in 2.3% of all half-innings; teams score 2 runs in 6.6% of all half innings; teams score 0 runs in 76.3% of all half innings. So, the chances of the Sox exactly matching the Cardinals' scoring of with {3,2,0,0} in the 9th through 12th were (p3*p2*p0*p0) = (.023*.066*.763*.763) = .00088, or a little under 1 in a thousand. Nutty.

Such a good game!

posted by Miles 2:05 PM

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