Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cleveland Indians Top Plays of the Year: #11 through #15

The Indians had a lot of memorable plays in 2011 on their way to an 80-82 record.  The 80 wins represented an 11 game increase over their 2010 win total despite needing to use the disabled list 22 times, more than every other team besides the Minnesota Twins (see Indians Injury Story Here).  Trying to determine all the great plays that the 2011 Indians were involved in is a very difficult endeavor.  So, borrowing a blogcentric concept utilized by Jason Hanselman (@SandyKazmir on twitter)  over at to look at the great plays by the Tampa Bay Rays I am going to use win probability added (WPA) to showcase the 15 biggest plays of the 2011 Indians season.
Using a statistic called Win Probability Added (WPA) we can look at each player's contributions at the singular at bat level factoring in the inning, the score, the number of outs, and the number of baserunners.  A two-run homer early in the game isn't nearly as important as a walk-off two-run homer simply because the late dinger guarantees the win.  The game is over, the home team wins, everyone rejoice.--Jason Hanselman

Plays #11 through #15 after the jump.

Play #11: August 6, 2011: Micheal Brantley Doubles
WPA = 0.39
Game Summary by Jordan Bastian: Tribe Stuns Rangers with Rally in Ninth

The Indians entered the top of the ninth inning trailing the Texas Rangers 4-3 and the Rangers had their closer Neftali Feliz on the mound.  Kosuke Fukudome led off the inning with a double and advanced to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt by Ezequiel Carrera. Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a game tying single and Lou Marson flew out for the second out. Feliz fell behind Brantley who fouled off the next five pitches (3 with Chisenhall breaking on the pitch) before lining the 9th pitch of the at-bat to the wall in right. Chisenhall, who was again off on the pitch, raced around 3rd and seemed to run out of gas but was able to beat the relay throw to score the go ahead run. The Indians were able to add insurance runs when Jason Kipnis hit a 2-run homer off new Rangers reliever Yoshinori Tateyama. The Rangers would score 1 run off Chris Perez in the bottom of the ninth before he closed the door and the Indians won 7-5.

Play #12: September 24, 2011: Shelly Duncan Doubles.
WPA = 0.38
Game Summary by Zack Meisel: Tribe Overcomes Six-Run Deficit to Sweep Twin Bill

Even though it was late in the season and the Indians really had nothing to play with the team fought its way back from an early 6 nothing deficit to defeat the Minnesota Twins 7-6. The Indians were down 6-0 entering the bottom of the sixth but scored 5 runs to cut the Twins lead to 6-5. Shelly Duncan came up in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners at 1st and 2nd and 2-out and delivered a 2-RBI double to put the Indians ahead 7-6.

Note: Shelly Duncan had a very good August and September, take a look at Jordan Bastian's article Duncan Prepared to be More than a Role Player.

Play #13: September 23, 2011: Santana Home Run
WPA = 0.37
Game Summary by Jordan Bastian: Thome's Night Ends with Santana's Walk-Off Homer

It was a night of nights at Progressive Field.  Jim Thome's statue was unveiled and to celebrate the occasion he crushed a 425 foot homer over the camera well in centerfield. The crowd gave Thome a standing ovation and he emerged from the dugout to give his acknowledgement as the cheers magnified in intensity. The game remained deadlocked at 5-5 into the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Santana stepped up to the plate to pinch hit for Lou Marson and had made up to swing at the first pitch against Twins reliever Matt Capps. Santana figured he'd get a fastball and guessed right as he sent Capps pitch out to right centerfield.

Play #14: April 3, 2011: Orlando Cabrera Home Run
WPA = 0.37
Game Summary by Jordan Bastian: Masterson Guides Indians First Victory

Indians fans had to watch the Chicago White Sox batter the Indians 15-10 in the season opener and 8-3 in game #2 they were treated to a masterful performance by Justin Masterson who was helped by a triple play started by Carlos Santana.  The Indians entered the bottom of the 6th inning trailing 1-0 but were put in the lead thanks to a 2-run home run by Orlando Cabrera against White Sox starter John Danks. The Indians added 2-runs in the 7th inning and 3-runs in the 8th inning to earn their first victory of the season 7-4.

Play #15: September 21, 2011: Travis Hafner Home Run
WPA = 0.37
Game Summary by Zack Meisel: Late Outburst Ruins Ubaldo's Evening

A late September matchup between the Indians and White Sox was just another opportunity for Indians fans to get another look at Ubaldo Jiminez who was making his 10th start as an Indian. Jiminez and Mark Buehrle were locked in a pitchers battle through six innings. The White Sox held a 1-0 lead as the game entered the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs in the inning and Carlos Santana at first base Hafner lined Buehrle's second pitch out for his 13th home run on the season.  Unfortunately, Jiminez gave up 3 runs in the top of the 7th inning and Chad Durbin up 4 runs on 3 home runs and the Indians went down in defeat 8-4.


  1. I hope everyone enjoys these videos as much as I did putting them together.

  2. Could you just string them into one video that runs back to back with all the greatest moments?

  3. The only way I could string them together would be to use a video capture program and then use software (Windows Movie for example) to post them. I may give it a try but MLB is very protective of their video rights and may put a desist letter my way.