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Angels Top 10 Single Game WPA Batters (Part Three)

The countdown continues on the biggest individual performances by an Angels batter in team history

The Countdown Continues...

Using WPA (Win Probability Added) to examine ever single play in every single Angels game, we can statistically determine the best individual performances in a game in franchise history. We have already counted down PART ONE of the TOP TEN and PART TWO of the TOP TEN, so let's get the final four out in the open...

#4 - JUNE 20, 1975, Rangers at Angels - Dave Collins, .955 WPA

This is the only game in the Angels single game WPA where the batter did not hit a homerun. Left Fielder Dave Collins was batting ninth and before his first Plate Appearance saw the Rangers take a 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the second the Angels scored two runs and Andy Etchebarren was on 3B with two out when Collins flew out to the shortstop to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Collins doubled in a run to make it 6-4. It was 6-5 when he safely bunted his way on in the sixth, stole 2B, advanced on the throwing error and scored on a single by Jerry Remy. It was 8-8 in the eighth inning when Collins led off with a triple but was stranded. In the eleventh inning, Texas scored three runs, bummer. But the Angels put two across and Collins singled in the tying run and advanced the go ahead runner, Rudy Meoli, to 3B. Rudy scored on a fielding error by the 2Bman and the Angels won, with Dave Collins in the middle of the effort.

#3 - APRIL 19, 1962, Kansas City Athletics at Angels (Chavez Ravine) - Billy Moran, .969 WPA

This one is hilarious. Early in the game Moran GIDPs a run in. Fast forward to the bottom of the eleventh inning. KC scored two in the top of the frame. A single, a walk and now Moran is charged with bunting the runners over with nobody out. He bunts to the pitcher who throws the ball so wide of 1B that both runners score and Moran is at 3B. KC then intentionally walks the bases loaded and the strategy WORKS! Two force groundouts at home and a K and we are on to the twelfth tied 4-4.

So with a man on and two out in the twelfth, Moran does not bunt. He hits a walkoff homerun. The Thursday afternoon crowd of 6,338 is pleased I bet, but I don't know I wasn't born yet.

#2 - MAY 3, 1961, Baltimore Orioles at Angels (Wrigley Field) - Earl Averill, 1.053 WPA

In the fifteenth game of the Angels existence, Catcher Earl Averill accrued a WPA in the rarefied territory of over 1.000... HE went 4 for 4 in a game that the Orioles appeared to have in the bag. After the seventh inning stretch it was 6-1 Baltimore. The Angels scored a run in the seventh and two in the ninth. Still, 6-4, lots of wiggle room. In the ninth inning Ted Kluszewski hit a solo homer to make it 6-5. Ken Hunt then singled and Averill hit a two run walkoff homer to make it 7-6 Angels.

#1 - JULY 15, 1979, New York Yankees at Angels - Bobby Grich, 1.211

The reigning world champions had reigning Cy Young award winner Ron Guidry on the mound. The Yankees hit a two run homer off of Angels starter Dave Frost in the first inning and in the third inning. In the bottom of the third inning, Bobby Grich singled in Jim Anderson to make it 4-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, Grich doubled in Anderson and Rick Miller. 4-3 Yankees.

Guidry was still on the mound in the ninth with two outs. Anderson had flown out and Guidry walked catcher Tom Donohue ahead of striking out Miller. It was then Grich versus Guidry for the game. A two-run walkoff homerun sealed the game for the Angels and completed the weekend sweep to let the rest of the baseball world that these Angels were for real.