The Mariners' Comeback Win Last Night Broke Win Probability
Earlier this week, San Diego Padres' executive chairman Ron Fowler called his club "embarrassing" and "pathetic." So I doubt Thursday night's 16-13 loss by the Padres is going to help change his opinion all that much.
You see, the Mariners came back from being down 10 runs, trailing 12-2 after the fifth inning, scoring 5 runs in the sixth and 9 runs in the seventh to overcome that deficit. It was the largest come-from-behind win in franchise history and was the first time a team has come back trailing by 10 runs since Oakland beat Minnesota in July of 2009.
.@Mariners were down 12-2.
They now lead 16-12 in the 7th. WOW: https://t.co/UEkAk74DxY pic.twitter.com/4stc8TQ2pM
— MLB (@MLB) June 3, 2016
If you were keeping score at home, you must really like the Mariners. And your scorecard would have looked something like this.
Behold, this is what the @Mariners’ historic comeback looked like on paper (via @aaronmgoldsmith): https://t.co/US9NFTr13e
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 3, 2016
How improbable is it to come back from 10 runs down? First, take a look at FanGraphs' Win Probability chart, which appears as if someone has leaped off a tall building or something.
When Melvin Upton singled home two runs with two outs in the fifth inning to make it 12-2, the Padres' win probability stood at 99.9%. They were a virtual lock to win the game. Teams don't blow those kinds of leads. And even after the Padres scored five in the sixth to make it 12-7, San Diego was still 97.7% to win the game.
One inning later, it was 16-12, Mariners, and Seattle was 95.1% to win the game. Which they did.
The Padres and Mariners' 29 combined runs are the most scored by two teams in Petco Park history, and the 36 hits the two teams mustered are the most at Petco Park in a nine-inning game. And before Thursday night, the biggest deficit that a team had overcome this season was six runs.
The Mariners' comeback victory was a little bit of redemption for the franchise. Not only was it their largest comeback win ever, it also helped erase the stain of their epic 2001 loss to the Cleveland Indians in which they blew a 12-run lead.
That game remains the largest come-from-behind deficit ever overcome in the Majors.
The win continues an amazing season for Seattle, who are now 31-22, tied with the Texas Rangers atop the National League West. And they're doing it with a surprising amount of power. Their 80 team home runs are the most in the AL, and their 278 runs scored trail only the Boston Red Sox.
Robinson Cano is back to being the Cano of old, slashing .293/.354/.586 with 16 homers, 48 RBIs, 40 runs scored and a weighted runs created (wRC+) of 158. Kyle Seager is batting .295/.369/.535 with 10 home runs, Leonys Martin has emerged as an offensive force with a wRC+ of 127 with nine dingers, and Nelson Cruz continues to pound the ball, hitting .298/.394/.518 with 11 bombs and a wRC+ of 153. Seth Smith and Dae Ho Lee are also having outstanding offensive seasons, which is not easy to do when you play half your games at Safeco Field.
The M's did get some bad news this week with Felix Hernandez heading to the disabled list, but he should only miss about two or three starts. Mariners starters have a 4.06 ERA, which is fourth-best in the American League, and their bullpen ERA of 2.87 is third-best, striking out 10.14 batters per nine innings. Only the vaunted New York Yankees relievers have a higher K/9 (10.71) in the American League.
Whenever a team goes to the playoffs, there are always one or two games they can point to during the regular season as defining games. Games that helped shape a season.
Thursday night's comeback victory against the Padres was one of them.
And on the other side of the fence, the "embarrassing" Padres likely didn't help themselves in the eyes of their "positive reinforcement" team executive.