MVP: Adam LaRoche, .261 WPA. Jair Jurrjens deserves a huge round of applause for his effort in this contest, going 7 2/3 innings allowing just the one run and throwing first-pitch strikes to 14 of 15 batters during one stretch. He was incredibly sharp after the first inning when Adrian Gonzalez took him deep. In fact, for his pitching alone, Jurrjens would have been the MVP...unfortunately, a strikeout and a sacrifice on the offensive side hurt his case. (Yes, I know he did his job laying down the bunt, but his out-making still hurts the win probability.) But for all the praise of Jurrjens, let's not forget that Roachy's RBI single with two out in the bottom of the ninth saved the Braves from a regulation loss.
LVP: Martin Prado, -.448 WPA. An 0-for-6 day is bad enough, but it's made even worse by the fact that he just kept coming to bat in clutch situations...and coming up short.
Sixth inning, man on third, two outs...grounded out
Eighth inning, bases loaded, two outs...struck out
Tenth inning, man on second, one out...grounded out
Adding insult to injury, he then flied out to end the game. Thinking about that game won't make Martin's apparently stress-related headaches go away.
MIP: LaRoche's ninth-inning, two-out RBI single to tie the game at one and send it to extras. It's pretty rare for a losing team's offensive play to be the MIP, but then again it's also pretty rare for a team to tie the game with two outs in the ninth.
UotG: Blame the offense, -.876 WPA. Again, remember that the whole team had a -.500 WPA, so the offense not only accounted for all of that but also erased positive efforts from Jair Jurrjens and the bullpen.
And introducing a new staple on game recaps, what I will call right now the "Close As They Came" moment (discussion is open for a new name). Basically this is the point in the game where the losing team (whether the Braves or their opponents) was closest to winning (i.e., had the highest win probability). I find this to be very illustrative: if the CATC moment is the top of the first with no outs, then the winning team controlled the game the whole way and the losing team never had better than a 50% chance to win. For Tuesday's game, the CATC moment was:
After Kelly Johnson walked to lead off the bottom of the tenth inning, 71.9% WE. With a leadoff man on base and needing only one run, it looked pretty good for the Braves to walk off in the bottom of the tenth. Things looked only slightly worse after Omar Infante's grounder moved KJ to second. But then Prado's grounder wasted an out without advancing Infante to third, and after a pair of walks, Garret Anderson struck out to end the inning.