Thursday, November 8, 2012

Top 10 Most Exciting Tigers Wins of 2012

I wanted to do some kind of recap on the 2012 season but I wanted to do something different than the other blogs.  I’m intrigued by FanGraphs’ Win Probability charts, so I started to view the Tigers games, trying to remember each one.  Then I remembered that the Tigers had some very exciting wins during the 2012 season.  So I’m going to list the Tigers' top exciting games for the 2012 season, with the accompanying Win Probability Chart. 

Of course this is my list, so I’m going by my own discretion.  Sure, 10-0 blowouts are always good wins, but to me not very exciting.  I like games that are close, that go back and forth where you don’t know who’ll win.  I also like comeback wins and walk-offs.  So that’s what this list is going to focus on.  I’m also going to ignore playoff games and focus on the regular season.  Most of the Tigers' playoff games were exciting (save for the World Series games) and are on another level to begin with, so comparing them to the regular season games doesn’t seem fair. And of course, if you disagree, leave your top ten in the comments.

Onto the list:

10. Game 126:

Source: FanGraphs

The Angels took an early 3-0 lead and at one point had an 88.2% chance of winning.  But the Tigers came back with 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 8th to win it 5-3.  Jhonny Peralta's double was the clutch hit that put the Tigers on top for good.  

9. Game 156:

Source: FanGraphs

The chart never gives the Royals much of an opportunity to win, as the closest it gets is at 50% when Billy Butler homered to tie the game at 4.  But the Tigers end up winning on a walk-off when Alex Avila grounds out to 1B and that's always exciting to see.  This is also the game where Doug Fister set an AL record with 9 consecutive strikeouts.

8. Game 1:

Source: FanGraphs

Opening day!  Justin Verlander was excellent through 8 innings and it looked like the Tigers were going to easily win.  But then Jose Valverde blew his first save of the year after being perfect in save opportunities the year before.  Luckily though, the Tigers won it on a walk-off by Austin Jackson.

7. Game 69:

Source: FanGraphs

This was Jacob Turner's first start of the year for the Tigers and he did well.  But the Cardinals' pitching also did well and it was tied 1-1 for most of the game until the Tigers walked off in the 10th inning on Quintin Berry's hit.  

6. Game 124:

Source: FanGraphs

The Blue Jays took an early 2-0 lead on Edwin Encarnacion's homer and at one point had a win expectancy of 88.4%.  But the Tigers came back to tie it in the 8th and won it in the 11th on a walk-off by Alex Avila with a hustling Quintin Berry scoring the winning run.

5. Game 25:

Source: FanGraphs

The White Sox had a 4-3 lead and a win expectancy of 88.7% going into the bottom of the 9th inning.  However, Jhonny Peralta hit a 2-run walk-off home run to give the Tigers a 5-4 win.  

4. Game 60:

Source: FanGraphs

The Reds took a 6-2 lead in the 6th inning and had a win expectancy of 97.1%.  But the Tigers chipped away and tied it on an Austin Jackson double and scored the winning run on a wild pitch against one of the rare meltdowns by Aroldis Chapman.  Matt Young had an RBI HBP and scored the winning run in about his only useful game with the Tigers.  

3. Game 36:

Source: FanGraphs

The White Sox took a 6-0 lead and had a win expectancy of 97.8% in the 5th inning.  The Tigers rallied to score 8 runs in the 6th inning, including Ryan Raburn's only HR of the year. Tigers took the lead for good with Austin Jackson's home run and held on to win 10-8.  

2. Game 3:

Source: FanGraphs

This game was a classic slugfest.  Tigers scored 4 runs in the first, but the Red Sox came back and it was 7-5 by the third inning.  The Red Sox took a 10-7 lead in the bottom of the 9th and had a win expectancy of 96.7%.  The Tigers rallied and tied it up on Miguel Cabrera's 3-run home run.  However, the Red Sox scored 2 runs in the 11th inning and this time had a win expectancy of 95.5%.  For the 2nd time, the Tigers came back and won it it on Alex Avila's walk-off home run.   

1. Game 108:

Source: FanGraphs

This was a back and forth game that ended up tied 5-5 going into extra innings.  The Indians scored 3 runs in the top of the 10th and had a win expectancy of 99.5%.  The Tigers didn't quit and scored 5 runs in the bottom on the 10th, all with 2 outs, tying it on Omar Infante's 2-run single and Miguel Cabrera winning it on a walk-off HR in the most exciting Tigers game of the 2012 season.  


  1. Number one was definitely my favorite game of the year just because it was off Chris Perez, but I loved number 6 mostly because I was behind home plate for a Verlander start and it ended like that.

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