It was a game we will remember for a long, long time. Baseball teams just don’t mount comebacks like this often. It’s rarified air. How rare? Let’s take a look at the win probability graph.
Way back in the 2nd inning, the Angels had a 54.9% chance to win this game after the Andrelton Simmons homerun which was pretty much even odds. Things turned quickly and when Robinson Cano hit his 3-run homer in the 3rd inning, those odds dropped to 20.9% - and just kept dropping.
By the 5th inning, and thanks largely to Cano (again), the Mariners had pretty much put this game to bed with a 7-1 lead and the boys from the Emerald City had a 96.9% chance of pulling off a victory. Queue the Angels fans turning off the TV and starting to file out of the stadium. This one was getting ugly, and at least they would beat the traffic.
Kudos to the fans who stayed until the 9th inning, because if you look at the graph above - things didn’t get better at all. From the 5th to the top of the 9th it just looked ugly. The Mariners were up to an 8-1 lead before Jefry Marte gave the first glimmer of hope in the form of a 2 RBI single in the 7th inning after “Buttercup” played throughout the stadium.
The game got quiet again and before Albert Pujols stepped in the box to lead off the 9th inning, the Angels had a measly 0.2% chance of winning the game. At least we won the series. I guess there will be no sweep. The fans said those words and many others - at least the ones who were still watching as a miracle was about to unfold.
In a game where starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma held the Angels to just 2 hits over 6 innings, the Angels broke out and sent 12 players to the plate in the bottom of the 9th. When Mike Trout drew a walk with 2 outs in the 9th, the score was 7-9 and the Angels still only had a 16.6% chance of winning the game. Albert Pujols then came to bat again, poking a single through the right side, scoring 2 runs, and spiking the odds all the way up to 63.2%.
The rest is history. Cliff frickin’ Pennington came to the plate for the second time that inning and put the final nail in the Mariner’s coffin. Game, set, sweep.