FanPost

The Last At Bat

Shane-victorino_medium

via isportacus.com

After Saturday night's game, phrozen asked in the post game threads whether Shane Victorino had made the last out in a high number of games. I thought that Werth had a lot of these final outs, as I remembered him striking out to end the game a number of times earlier this year. That got me thinking, so I looked through this season to find out who had the most last outs, and whether it was possible that either recent, or more memorable (read close) games somehow skewed perception. So who made the largest number of final outs for the Phillies this year. The answer is not who you think, as you will see after the break

So who made the most final outs? To determine this, I looked at every game the Phillies have played in the 2010 regular and post season to date, both wins and losses. I also broke out two specific circumstances- losses where the Phillies had the tying or go ahead run on base or at the plate at the time of the last out (memorable) and games since September first (recency). The results surprised me:

Player

Final Outs

Close Losses

Since September 1

Raul Ibanez

21

1

2

Shane Victorino

19

5

4

Jayson Werth

16

3

3

Placido Polanco

15

1

7

Ryan Howard

13

2

1

Chase Utley

12

0

4

Carlos Ruiz

10

2

3

Jimmy Rollins

9

1

2

Wilson Valdez

9

0

2

Greg Dobbs

7

1

1

Ross Gload

5

0

2

Juan Castro

5

0

0                     

Ben Francisco

4

1

0

Dane Sardinha

3

0

0

Domonic Brown

2

2

0

Brian Bocock

2

0

2

Cody Ransom

2

0

0

Roy Oswalt

1

1

0

Cole Hamels

1

0

0

Ryan Madson

1

0

0

Brian Schneider

1

0

0

Mike Sweeney

1

0

0

As you can see, both phrozen and I were wrong, but selection bias, combined with the small difference between memory and actuality (particularly for Victorino) explains the fault in our memory. While Ibanez has the most final outs, he was only the final out in one close game and only a pair of games since September 1, causing his final outs to be far less memorable. 

When writing this, I had expected most of the first outs to come from batters in the top half of the order, and was thus a little surprised to see Ibanez with the lead. But upon further review, the presence of Ibanez, Victorino, and Werth at the top of the list makes sense- the three of them had the most starts of anyone on the team this year, thus giving them more opportunities to make the final out.  

 


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