Yesterday the Astros beat the Angels 16-2. In the eighth inning, when they were only up 15-2, Dusty Baker challenged a play on the field, which I thought was pretty funny – since at least 1957, no visiting team has won the game after being down by 13 in the top of the 9th. (in fact, you have go to down to an 8 run lead before seeing that happen!)
Seeing this made me chuckle, and then wonder if that was a record for manager challenges. It had a good shot at it – manager challenges have only been around since 2014, and it’s not like there are a lot of games where a team is ahead by 13 runs!
So I added some code to my baseball win expectancy finder, and the answer is almost but not quite! In 2017 Oakland was ahead of Kansas City 14-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning and challenged a play (and got it overturned, too!) It’s also happened two other times with 13 run leads, although I didn’t bother check whether the leading team was the one who challenged.
Once again, the lesson learned is that there have been many, many games of baseball played 🙂
Here’s the raw output for those who are interested.
Other articles I’ve written with this baseball data:
- How common are walk-off walks (on four pitches!) in baseball?
- How likely are walks and strikeouts by count?
- How often does a bases loaded no out situation end with 0 runs?
- How unlikely are two immaculate innings in the same game against the same batters? (very!)
- Why are so many runs scored in the bottom of the first inning?
- Does the length of the top of the first inning affect the number of runs scored in the bottom of the first? (somewhat!)
- How effective are teams at manufacturing runs?