With two outs in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7, the Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon lined a single that, thanks to some Giants bumbling, let him scoot all the way to third base. And after crunching the numbers on the probability the Royals would drive Gordon in later in the inning, Nate Silver concludes they should have sent Gordon home on the hit. "It would have been the right move if he was safe even 30 percent of the time," he concludes.
I trust Silver's math. But the problem here is there's no reason to assume Gordon would have been safe 30 percent of the time. Rather, he would likely have been out by a mile. Look at the replay:
You can see cutoff man Brandon Crawford receiving the ball as Gordon chugs into third. If Gordon heads home, Crawford — who has a powerful arm — easily guns him down at the plate.
Had Gordon run hard all the way — he appeared to slow up around first, assuming the ball would be cut off — maybe he had a shot. But by the time that ball got back to the Crawford there was no way Gordon was going to make it, and the Royals' season would have ended on a TOOTBLAN, one batter sooner.