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Scott Podsednik hit a walk-off home run to win a World Series game tonight, making him just the 14th player ever to do so. Was it the least likely walk-off ever?

Not only was Podsednik surely the most unlikely power threat of the 14 walk-off heroes...he was facing one of the toughest pitchers among the 14 victims.

OPS+ of Walk-Off Heroes

184 Dusty Rhodes (1954)
177 Mickey Mantle (1964)
154 Eddie Mathews (1957)
150 Carlton Fisk (1975)
149 Kirk Gibson (1988)
148 Tommy Henrich (1949)
134 Mark McGwire (1988)
125 Derek Jeter (2001)
119 Kirby Puckett (1991)
111 Joe Carter (1993)
106 Chad Curtis (1999)
100 Alex Gonzalez (2003)
94 Bill Mazeroski (1960)
86 Scott Podsednik (2005)

ERA+ of Walk-Off Victims

233 Barney Schultz (1964)
183 Mike Remlinger (1999)
181 Brad Lidge (2005)
161 Jay Howell (1988)
160 Dennis Eckersley (1988)
156 Byung-Hyun Kim (2001)
137 Bob Grim (1957)
136 Bob Lemon (1954)
130 Don Newcombe (1949)
120 Mitch Williams (1993)
112 Charlie Leibrandt (1991)
106 Ralph Terry (1960)
100 Pat Darcy (1975)
73 Jeff Weaver (2003)

Astros fans can take comfort in one stat, though: On four of the fourteen previous occasions where a player has won a World Series game with a walk-off...the other team has rallied to take the Fall Classic.
Folks, That Was History | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#130496) #
That was a nice occasion for Podsednik's first homer of the season. No one will mistake either of these clubs for a great team, but there is plenty of excitement and storylines galore.
Matt S - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#130497) #
Really? I could have sworn that he already has one this post-season.
Magpie - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#130498) #
Podsednik surely the most unlikely power threat of the 15 walk-off heroes

And then some. Tenace and Curtis both hit just 5 HRs the year they hit their WS walk-offs, but both had 20+ homer seasons in their career. Mazeroski had some pop (career high of 19) despite the dimensions of Forbes Field. And while Dusty Rhodes 15 HR in 1954 was a career high, he batted less than 200 times.

Podsednik did hit 12 for the Brewers in 2004...

Pistol - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#130499) #
Podsednik did hit one HR earlier in the playoffs, but none in the regular season.

I'm still shocked that Podsednik couldn't throw out Burke in the 9th when he had the ball prior to Burke reaching third base. When I saw the play live my first reaction was that they had to hold him up at third because he'd be out by a mile otherwise.
Flex - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#130500) #
The ball should have gotten to the plate in time but one of the replays from the outfield perspective showed that the throw had real tail on it. It was at one point headed right for the plate, but then veered away like a Dave Stieb slider, pulling the catcher toward third base. I think that was the difference.
Thomas - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#130503) #
I agree with Pistol's coment; I wasn't surprised that Houston sent Burke, but I thought that any sort of decent throw was going to get him.

Garner's going to face lots of second-guessing, deservedly so in my mind, for not putting Lidge into Game 6 of the NLCS. It may not have made a difference, but given Lidge's subsequent collapse maybe a boost of confidence would have done him a world of good.
Flex - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#130504) #
So, is Brad Lidge the new Mitch Williams? Should he expect an eventful Hallow'een?
Mike D - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#130505) #
I defended Garner's Game 6 move at the time. With Wheeler pitching lights-out, there was no reason to tempt fate and bring in Lidge. With a four-run lead, there was only downside to bringing Lidge in. If he gave up two runs but preserved the lead, would it have boosted his confidence?

I'm not sure he pitched like a broken man last night -- he missed his location on a 2-1 fastball. Now, however, he may pitch like a broken man.
Shortstop - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#130506) #
Lidge is not the next Mitch Williams, but perhaps the next Kim.

Watching the game with the International feed, Sutcliffe kept saying how Lidge needed to throw the ball down the middle, so he does not walk Podsednik. Well, he didn't walk him.
danjulien - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#130507) #
Hey guys,
I didn't know where else to put this...but I need help with my thesis research, i have lots of background info on the D-Backs in the time coming into their first season about how they chose players, managers and what not. But the info on the Devil Rays from this period seems to be slim, I was wondering if any of you knew of any books or had any books I can borrow on the D-Rays during the construction of their franchise. Or if any of you knew of a good D-Rays fan site where I could contact some people...Any help would be lists two books, one isn't great and the other is over 200$ used...e-mail
Thanks in advance for your time
Mick Doherty - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#130508) #
Don Miller is the fantasy baseball correspondent for the Devil Rays, like Gitz is for the A's and Lucas is for the Rangers and has been since Coach and I were doing it for the Jays and Rangers/Yankees. He always struck me as very knowledgeable and accessible. Try here:

Magpie - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#130510) #
Following the Devil Rays is a thankless job. I'm glad I don't have to do it - the Lobby of Numbers was grim enough. Try DRays Bay.
Mike Green - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#130511) #
Finally, some good news from the AFL. Adam Lind and Ryan Roberts had big games on Saturday. Steve Andrade continued to have his share of success, notwithstanding the 5.00 ERA.
BallGuy - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#130512) #
Speaking of history, 13 years ago today the Jays won their first World Series Championship. Where does the time go?
VBF - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#130513) #
Here's an interesting project I've discovered. Now is there any reason why the Jays should be last in votes?
Rob - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#130514) #
Now is there any reason why the Jays should be last in votes?

That's an American census -- only American addresses are accepted and all it shows is the map of the lower 48. It makes sense that the only Canadian team is in last in a Americans-only exercise.

VBF - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#130515) #
Ah, that makes sense. Although it would be interesting to see truly how wide Jays nation can go.
Dr. Zarco - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#130516) #
I just stuck my vote on there from Chicago. I was only the 37th person to vote for the Jays, which is 12 behind the DRays for next to last, and 1250 behind the Red Sox for first.
GeoffAtMac - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#130518) #
I enjoyed this initial post from Mike D -- this could be a fact that will be remembered after the series is over, whichever way it may end.

With all of this 'magic' surrounding Podsednik all season long -- as in he was the guy they traded Carlos Lee for (and Vizcaino), he was one of the symbols of the 'new' smallball approach, he hit the home run yesterday etc. -- it makes me wonder whether there is always a specific player that is the major component in taking a team from one level to another.

We all know you need good pitching and good hitting to win it all -- but I was wondering if you always have to have one player who has some intangible effect on a team?

I was thinking maybe Robbie Alomarin the WS years in T.O., would be the Blue Jay equivalent.

And following this line of thinking, I am wondering if there might be some player out there right now in the major leagues who just might have that kind of effect on the Blue Jays. Not necessarily a slugger, or a front-line pitcher, but someone who has some skills and an intangible effect.

Any thoughts?
Flex - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#130520) #
Miguel Tejada! Paul Konerko!

Oh, did you mean gettable players?

... Carlos Lee?
Magpie - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#130521) #
By the way, what happened to all this small ball we were supposed to be seeing?

I will tell you. The Chicago White Sox hit 200 home runs in 2005. That's more homers than the Boston Red Sox hit. Only four teams in the majors hit more long balls than the small-balling South Siders.

Magpie - Monday, October 24 2005 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#130522) #
The problem with Podsednik as the magic ingredient... and I'll accept that he had something to do with changing the style and culture of the team... is this. In 2004, the White Sox scored 865 runs, 3rd best in the league. In 2005, they scored 741 runs, ninth best. Podsednik playing LF instead of Carlos Lee accounts for a very large part of that drop-off. It's not a good thing.

Why are they still playing? because in 2004, they gave up 831 runs, and in 2005 they cut that all the way to 645. Podsednik is a better defender than Carlos Lee, but he's still just a left fielder.

I am very happy to acept that Podsednik helped them in many intangible ways. But the team is much better in quite tangible ways as well, and Podsednik generally had very little to do with it.

If you wanted to single out a high impact addition to the White Sox... the best bet would be Tadahito Iguchi. Who is a very good two way player; a second baseman's defense has a very large impact on the pitching.

Iguchi and El Duque, because I'm also willing to believe that Jose Contreras would not have emerged as this effective a major league pitcher if Hernandez weren't around. And Jermaine Dye and Dustin Hermanson. Kenny Williams made a lot of moves that worked out very, very well.

Chuck - Tuesday, October 25 2005 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#130538) #
Sing it Magpie!

Why is it that your analysis, which is simple, straightforward and gets to the nut of the team's success, has proven so elusive to the mainstream media?

Why is it that the media can't help but call a fish a fowl?

Is it because we need to see success as a function of revolutionary thinking? Are the rose-coloured smallball glasses a backlash against the brutish, anti-intellectualism of homeruns (and, by extension, steroid abusers)?

Does attributing Chicago's success to pitching and homeruns somehow diminish their accomplishments?

I tell you, I'm at a loss to understand this willing self-delusion of who the White Sox are.

As for Podsednik, I can't help but think back to Mookie Wilson -- players who arrive on the scene, see their new teams play very well and get a ridiculously disproportionate amount of credit for that success. I know we pattern-seeking humanoids need to infer causality, even in the absence of evidence, but the Podsednik fanfare this year has been nuts (though fully warranted Sunday night).
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 25 2005 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#130539) #

I agree that smallball, and in particular Scott Podsednik's presence, has relatively little to do with the White Sox' success. BP's team WARP listing summarizes fairly accurately each of the player's contributions, although I disagree with the evaluation of Iguchi's defence.

But, the fact is that the Sox would not have made it to the playoffs had they not done exceptionally well in close games. Here is the summary of their performance. Their unusual performance in close games is probably related to the combination of an excellent bullpen, their short sequence offence, and yes, their ability to execute one-run strategies. Small ball, small thing; long ball, big thing.

Cristian - Tuesday, October 25 2005 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#130542) #
A leftfielder can totally help the pitching staff. For proof, I refer you to Shannon Stewart's magical 2003 MVP run, where his midseason trade to Minnesota transformed the pitching staff and led the Twins into the playoffs.
Chuck - Tuesday, October 25 2005 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#130544) #
For proof, I refer you to Shannon Stewart's magical 2003 MVP run

Has Jayson Stark announced his 2005 MVP votes? Does Podsednik, ugh, make the list? I know he was blathering about Hafner. He really does love being contrary, telling us who the real stars are.

costanza - Tuesday, October 25 2005 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#130545) #
Has Jayson Stark started the Posednik-for-MVP campaign yet? :)
Jesse - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#130582) #
Tenace didn't actually hit a walk-off. He scored the winning run in Game 4 on Angel Mangual's single, then homered in a Game 5 loss. His two Game 1 homers came in Cincinnati.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#130584) #
Speaking of history, today is Kid Gleason's birthday. It would be appropriate for the Sox to wrap things up in his memory.
Chuck - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#130585) #
Speaking of history, today is Kid Gleason's birthday.

And where's Greg Norton when you need him?

Mike D - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 03:01 AM EDT (#130684) #

Jesse, you're right. It's a long, and boring, story as to how a Tenace ninth-inning single off Carroll turned into a walk-off home run in my notes (when the single wasn't even the game-winning hit). I think I was confused by Geno's homer earlier in the game.

The story has been changed accordingly.
Folks, That Was History | 31 comments | Create New Account
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