Looking Back on the Walk-off Hits of 2013

As we wait for the World Series to end and the real fun — the off-season — to begin, let’s continue taking a look back on the 2013 season by reliving all ten walk-off hits by the Phillies.

Leverage Index (LI) and Win Percent Added (WPA) are cited for each play. If you’re unfamiliar with these statistics, click on the linked names to go to relevant articles on each.

1. April 6 vs. Kansas City Royals

Entering the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-1, the Phillies stormed back against the Royals bullpen. Closer Greg Holland, who finished the year with a 1.21 ERA and 47 saves (second only to Jim Johnson’s 50 in the American League), walked the first three batters he faced. The Phillies, however, attempted to bail him out as Domonic Brown and John Mayberry both struck out looking. Their win expectancy went from 50 percent after the walk to load the bases to 17 percent after the second strikeout.

Fortunately, Kevin Frandsen was there to play the role of hero. The utilityman pinch-hit for Humberto Quintero and wasted no time putting the ball in play, swinging at Holland’s first offering:

Leverage Index of play: 6.73.

Win Percent Added of play: .828

2. May 19 vs. Cincinnati Reds

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman led the league or was among the leaders in a lot of categories in 2013. He led all relievers in strikeout rate at 43 percent (three percent of Holland in second place). He racked up the third-most saves in the National League with 38, behind Craig Kimbrel and Rafael Soriano, and tied with Sergio Romo. He had the highest average fastball velocity at 98.3 MPH, a full MPH ahead of Trevor Rosenthal.

None of that mattered to the Phillies, who mounted one of the more improbable comebacks against the flamethrowing lefty. Trailing 2-1 going into the ninth, Delmon Young reached base with a walk. Cliff Lee pinch-ran for him, but was promptly picked off of first base by Chapman. Not sullen by the bad turn of events, Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis — two players who contributed very little over the course of the entire season — hit back-to-back solo home runs against Chapman to help the Phillies walk off by a 3-2 margin.

Leverage Index of play: 1.70

Win Percent Added of play: .422

3. June 4 vs. Miami Marlins

The Phillies and Marlins were tied 2-2 after nine innings, sending the game into extra innings. In the top of the tenth, Juan Pierre drew a lead-off walk against Antonio Bastardo. Marlins manager Mike Redmond gave Ed Lucas the bunt sign, so Pierre moved up to second base with one out. Pierre, as we remember from 2012, is capable of causing havoc on the bases. He did just that, stealing third base, then coming around to score when Bastardo lost control of a slider in the dirt to Chris Coghlan. In the bottom half of the inning, John Mayberry immediately tied the game up with a lead-off solo home run against Edgar Olmos. Olmos held the Phillies scoreless through the rest of the inning, sending the game into the eleventh.

Mike Stutes got the Phillies through the top half of the eleventh, working around a two-out infield single by Rob Brantly. Redmond left Olmos in the game to start the twelfth and he would regret it. Domonic Brown reached on an error by Olmos, then moved to second with two outs on Kyle Kendrick’s successful sacrifice bunt. Olmos issued an intentional walk to Freddy Galvis to set up a force play at first, second, and third base, but walked Erik Kratz to load them up for Mayberry, the tenth-inning hero. With a 1-1 count, Olmos threw Mayberry a 94 MPH fastball, which was promptly turned around in the form of a screaming line drive that had just enough air under it to sail over the fence for a walk-off grand slam.

Both of Mayberry’s extra-inning homers:

Leverage Index of play: 6.39

Win Percent Added of play: .343

4. June 17 vs. Washington Nationals

The Phillies led the Nationals 4-2 after seven innings, but as was a common theme throughout the season, the back of the bullpen just couldn’t hold the lead. The Nationals scored once in the eighth off of Mike Adams and once in the ninth — a two-out, game-tying solo home run by Chad Tracy –  against Jonathan Papelbon to send the Phillies into the bottom of the ninth looking to walk off.

Against Nationals reliever Fernando Abad, the Phillies were able to put the winning run on third base with one out. Ben Revere led off with a single, then scampered to third on a single by Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies’ bench, however, was not especially deep so Steven Lerud came to the plate to pinch-hit for Papelbon in what would turn out to be his final plate appearance in the Majors for the season. He quickly fell behind 0-2, then struck out on Abad’s fourth pitch, throwing away a golden opportunity for the Phillies, or so we thought at the time.

Domonic Brown came to plate with runners on the corners and two outs. Rollins moved to second on defensive indifference, which gave the Nationals the opportunity to intentionally walk Brown to bring up Delmon Young to, perhaps, bring in a right-handed reliever. After working the count to 2-2, Brown took a 93 MPH fastball back up the middle for a walk-off RBI single.

Leverage Index of play: 4.58

Win Percent Added of play: .366

5. June 22 vs. New York Mets

Honestly, the Phillies had no business winning this game the way they handed it over to the Mets in the late innings. They went ahead 7-1 after six innings thanks to a strong six-inning effort by starter Jonathan Pettibone. Michael Stutes started the seventh, though, ending Pettibone’s night. It was ugly from the start. John Buck reached on a throwing error by Jimmy Rollins, Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked, Omar Quintanilla hit an RBI single to right, and Josh Satin walked load the bases. Stutes faced four batters and his night was done. Justin De Fratus came in but he could not put out the fire. Eric Young, Jr. doubled to left-center, scoring two, and Jordany Valdespin tacked on a fourth run in the inning with an RBI ground out. The score was then 7-5.

Manager Charlie Manuel called on Jonathan Papelbon to protect a two-run lead in the ninth, but that proved to be too difficult for the $50 million man. He allowed a one-out solo homer to Valdespin — the same Valdespin who victimized Papelbon for a hysterics-inducing three-run home run in 2012. David Wright then reached on Michael Young’s fielding error. With two outs, Daniel Murphy hit a slow grounder right to where Jimmy Rollins would have been if he hadn’t broken to cover second base with Wright running. The ball trickled into center to Ben Revere. He bobbled the ball momentarily, and with Revere owning one of baseball’s weakest arms, Wright scored all the way from first base in embarrassing fashion. Murphy’s RBI single had a WPA of .351, tying the game up at 7-7.

Kevin Frandsen, however, was there to play hero yet again. Mets reliever Carlos Torres threw two pitches in the bottom of the ninth. This was the second:

Leverage Index of play: 2.20

Win Percent Added of play: .365

6. July 13 vs. Chicago White Sox

Phillies starter John Lannan matched Hector Santiago pitch-for-pitch, as both pitchers went into the eighth inning allowing just one run in the second game of a day-night double-header. The Phillies got to Santiago in the bottom of the seventh thanks to John Mayberry’s game-tying solo home run. From there, it was a battle of bullpens with both teams swapping zeroes on the scoreboard until the 13th.

The White Sox sent rookie right-hander Simon Castro out for his second inning of work. The Phillies didn’t make him work particularly hard in the twelfth, as four batters saw a total of seven pitches. Catcher Humberto Quintero drew a lead-off walk, then was forced out on a Jimmy Rollins ground out. Rollins moved to second base on Joe Savery’s bunt, putting the winning run 180 feet away with two outs as Michael Young came to the plate.

As you’ll see further down, it wasn’t the only time Michael Young was a walk-off hero. It was particularly nice because the Phillies had lost Ben Revere to what turned out to be a season-ending foot injury in the afternoon affair.

Leverage Index of play: 3.76

Win Percent Added of play: .394

7. July 14 vs. Chicago White Sox

Fresh off of their walk-off win in Game 2 of a day-night double-header, the Phillies went back at it again in their final game before the All-Star break. The offense staked Cole Hamels to a 3-0 lead after six, but the White Sox started to chip away at Hamels. In the seventh, Jeff Keppinger hit an RBI single to bring the score to 3-1, and in the eighth, Alejandro De Aza hit a solo home run to make it 3-2. Hamels was able to make it through eight, meaning closer Jonathan Papelbon needed just three outs to get them into the second half with a victory. As was a not-so-rare occurrence throughout the year, Papelbon was mortal and he blew a save in unremarkable fashion. Dayan Viciedo hit a one-out single to left, then was pinch-run for by Blake Tekotte. Tekotte promptly stole second, then came around to score the tying run on Josh Phegley’s two-out RBI single to center.

The Phillies didn’t do anything against Nate Jones in the bottom of the ninth, and Antonio Bastardo tossed a perfect top of the tenth to send the Phillies into the bottom half of the inning looking to muster a rally against former farmhand David Purcey. Chase Utley led off with a line drive double to left-center. Purcey intentionally walked the switch-hitting Jimmy Rollins to bring up lefty Domonic Brown with a force at every base except home. Brown hit a weak grounder in front of the pitcher, but the only play was at first, allowing Utley and Rollins to advance to third and second, respectively. Purcey intentionally walked Darin Ruf to load the bases with one out for Delmon Young, but Young couldn’t get the job done, striking out swinging. As the team’s last hope in the inning, John Mayberry — twice a walk-off hero to this point — was up to the task, doing this:

Leverage Index of play: 6.37

Win Percent Added of play: .343

8. August 21 vs. Colorado Rockies

The Phillies had already walked off in back-to-back games against the White Sox in July just before the end of the first half, and they would do it again in late August against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies entered the bottom of the ninth ahead 3-2 with closer Rafael Betancourt on the hill. He entered with a 2.93 ERA, a tall task for the Phillies, though they had come back against some tough relievers throughout the year.

Erik Kratz led off the bottom of the ninth with a line drive double down the left field line. Casper Wells pinch-ran for Kratz, advancing to third base on John Mayberry’s ground out to the right side. Carlos Ruiz came to the plate with the tying run on third base and less than two outs, an easy situation in which to push a run across. Ruiz did more, doubling to the wall in left field to tie the game and put the winning run in scoring position. Jimmy Rollins was intentionally walked, bringing up Michael Young, the hero just over a month ago against the White Sox. Young turned around a Betancourt fastball, lining the ball down the left field line. Ruiz scored easily as the Phillies walked off victorious yet again.

Leverage Index of play: 4.33

Win Percent Added of play: .294

9. August 22 vs. Colorado Rockies

The Phillies fought back once again against a downtrodden Rockies bullpen, which they had taken advantage of the night prior. Down 4-1 in the eighth, the Phillies scored twice on Darin Ruf’s two-run home run to left field off of Matt Belisle. They went into the bottom of the ninth against Rafael Betancourt down one run again, and they would again get the job done.

Betancourt got two quick outs but showed diminished velocity against the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins doubled with two outs, then stole third base to put the tying run 90 feet away. Down in the count 0-2, Young hit a weak ground ball just out of the reach of Betancourt, slowly rolling towards shortstop. Third baseman Nolan Arenado charged the ball but couldn’t come up with the ball cleanly on a bare-handed attempt. Young reached safely while Rollins scored the tying run. Betancourt’s night ended much worse than it began. Lefty Jeff Francis came in with two tough left-handed hitters due up. Chase Utley drew a walk, pushing Young to second as Domonic Brown came to the plate. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Francis hung a curve to Brown, who sent a sharp grounder into right field. Michael Cuddyer’s throw home was off line as Young slid in for the winning run.

Leverage Index of play: 4.29

Win Percent Added of play: .390

10. September 7 vs. Atlanta Braves

This was the tenth and final walk-off of the season for the Phillies and it came at the hands of a player who once provided so very little value to the Phillies. In December 2006, the Phillies traded top prospects Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez to the White Sox for Garcia, as they were looking for a veteran arm that could help them get into the post-season for the first time since 1993. Garcia made just 11 starts for the Phillies, posting a 5.90 ERA before suffering a season-ending injury in Kansas City. The Phillies made the playoffs anyway without him. Garcia bounced around with the Tigers, the White Sox again, the Yankees, and the Orioles before winding up in Atlanta in late August.

In this particular game, Jonathan Papelbon once again forked over a lead. With the Phillies ahead 5-3, Andrelton Simmons hit a one-out, game-tying two-run home run to left field. But as they did many times throughout the year, the offense bailed Papelbon out. The Braves sent Garcia out to the mound in the bottom of the ninth to face the bottom of the Phillies’ order. He got Cody Asche to pop out but was tasked with getting out a hot Freddy Gavis, who was already 3-for-4 on the night. Galvis got ahead in the count 1-0, then sent a walk-off solo home run into the stands in right field to send Phillies fans home happy.

Leverage Index of play: 1.70

Win Percent Added of play: .422

The whole list of walk-offs:

Date Batter Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA LI
2013-04-06 Kevin Frandsen Greg Holland 3-1 2B b9 123 2 1 (0-0) 3 0.84 6.73
2013-05-19 Freddy Galvis Aroldis Chapman 2-2 HR b9 1 3 (1-1) 1 0.43 1.70
2013-06-04 John Mayberry Edgar Olmos 3-3 HR b11 123 2 3 (1-1) 4 0.35 6.37
2013-06-17 Domonic Brown Fernando Abad 4-4 1B b9 -23 2 5 (2-2) 1 0.37 4.58
2013-06-22 Kevin Frandsen Carlos Torres 7-7 HR b9 0 2 (1-0) 1 0.37 2.20
2013-07-13 Michael Young Simon Castro  1-1 1B b13 -2- 2 3 (1-1) 1 0.40 3.76
2013-07-14 John Mayberry Ramon Troncoso 3-3 1B b10 123 2 1 (0-0) 1 0.35 6.37
2013-08-21 Michael Young Rafael Betancourt 3-3 1B b9 12- 1 1 (0-0) 1 0.30 4.33
2013-08-22 Domonic Brown Jeff Francis 4-4 1B b9 12- 2 1 (0-0) 1 0.39 4.29
2013-09-07 Freddy Galvis Freddy Garcia 5-5 HR b9 1 2 (1-0) 1 0.43 1.70
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/24/2013.

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5 comments

  1. Vince

    October 24, 2013 07:22 PM

    They also had a walk off walk on Aug. 23 vs. the Diamondbacks.

  2. Nehemiah

    October 27, 2013 04:04 PM

    Why did you label the valdispin hr from 2012 as “hysterics inducing”?

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