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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Same Old Izzy That We Used to Know

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2009 at 2:02 PM

One of my favorite pastimes is to go over to Fangraphs and look at the win probability charts for baseball games after they end. It's especially fun to look at games in which really wacky things have happened, as the peaks and valleys are often marvels to behold. 

Never before, though, have I ever seen a graph quite like the one I saw last night. Yesterday, the Cleveland Indians took on the Tampa Bay Rays at Jacobs Field in Cleveland. The Rays jumped all over the Indians' starter, Fausto Carmona, and had built themselves a massive lead. Then, the unthinkable happened. In the ninth inning, the Indians scored seven runs to win the game by the score of 11-10. And at the center of it all was an old friend of ours, a friend whom I can't say I'm all that sad to see in another team's uniform. But first, the graph in question.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you one of the greatest things I've ever seen in my life. 

click to enlarge 20090525_Rays_Indians_0.png
Now, just in case you're not familiar with how to read one of these, the line simply represents the chances of each team winning the game at various points. As you can see, for most of the middle innings of this game, the Rays' probability of a win was somewhere in the 98-99% range. 

So what happened? Well, the Tampa Bay bullpen happened. More specifically, Jason Isringhausen happened. Izzy came in, after Grant Balfour had given up a home run to bring the Tribe within one run, and promptly walked three straight batters to load the bases. Then, with the Indians down to their final strike, Isringhausen gave up a single to Victor Martinez, scoring two more runs and sending the crowd at the Jake home happy. 

I feel bad for Izzy, I really do. But when I saw what happened in this game, the first thing I thought of was another of Isringhausen's more ignominious performances from last year, and I was, for a moment at least, just so thankful that this latest blowup didn't occur in a Cardinal uniform. I just don't think I could take it anymore. 

All that said, I think that it may be time for Isringhausen to give in and just call it a day. The man has had one hell of a career, but I just don't think he's got enough in the tank at this point. Sad, but it happens to everyone eventually. 

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