Tourtellotte: Looking back on the 2019 postseason

From SABR member Shane Tourtellotte at The Hardball Times on November 9, 2019:

The 2019 postseason is history, in a number of senses. The Washington Nationals reached and then won their first ever World Series, half a century after the franchise was born as the Montreal Expos. The loss of the biggest star the Nationals ever had, Bryce Harper, in free agency was only the beginning of a daunting series of challenges the team needed to overcome to reach this pinnacle.

May 23 saw the team mired in a 19-31 hole, just a game and a half ahead of the hapless Miami Marlins. The bottom of the eighth in the NL Wild Card game saw the Nationals down 3-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers with six outs to live. They trailed the NLDS against the L.A. Dodgers 2-1, then trailed the deciding fifth game 3-0 through five and 3-1 through seven. They absorbed a three-game sweep at home to the Houston Astros, leaving them needing to win two in Houston to salvage the World Series. In the all-or-nothing seventh game, they had a 2-0 deficit to surmount after six innings, against a veteran pitcher who was one-hitting them. And they did it all.

I’ll be reviewing the just-past postseason today, as I have since 2014, from the perspective of gauging the excitement of the games rather than the narratives of teams and players. My method for doing this is the Win Percentage Sum (WPS) Index, a system I have used since 2012, when I was doing daily reports on postseason games. I have more recently added a wrinkle to this method, which I will explain soon.

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Originally published: November 14, 2019. Last Updated: November 14, 2019.