On one hand, the game of baseball is very simple – throw, hit and run. Yet the statistics behind the game – what help make it so compelling for some – can become complex very quickly.
I was simply curious as to how often over time the Cardinals have come from behind to win games late. In asking researcher Tom Orf the question, it generated many more.
Did I want home and road wins, or just road? Did I want games when the Cards were down by two or more? Did I want last at-bat wins, whether eighth or ninth inning, or walkoffs only, etc?
I decided to stick with the Monday situation and sort Tom’s database by last at-bat comeback wins on the road.
Allen Craig’s RBI single capped off the first road win in 2012 when the Cardinals were trailing in the final inning. In fact, it was only the third by the club in the last 6 ½ years.
Interestingly, all three since 2005 came at the same place, Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Nick Stavinoha’s two-run home run brought the Cards back on April 9, 2010 and Matt Holliday did the exact same in the same manner to the Brew Crew on September 8, 2009.
Summarizing Tom’s data base – which goes back to 1933 – following are the totals of last at-bat comeback wins on the road by the Cardinals by year since 1960. (When years are not listed, there were none.)
On the right, I included decade totals. I wondered if greater relief specialization was behind fewer late road comebacks in recent years, but maybe not. Maybe it is better Cardinals teams getting larger leads and not needing to come back from deficits. Or maybe, there is no connection at all. What do you think?
As always, thanks to Tom Orf for sharing his raw data.