â†µAnother day in baseball and another two walkoff hits to win games. First, Thursday afternoon saw Braves utility man Brooks Conrad – who had come into the game as a pinch hitter – hit a walkoff grand slam that just barely landed over the left-field fence (watch video here). Conrad's shot, which actually grazed the glove of left fielder Laynce Nix before squeaking over the wall, capped a seven-run ninth inning for the Braves after heading into the final frame down 9-3. â†µâ†µ
â†µReplays showed Conrad rounding first and putting his head on his helmet in dismay as he thought Nix had caught the ball. Turning to go back to the dugout, it wasn't until he saw all his teammates pouring out to meet him at home plate – and the fans going nuts – that he knew it was a granny. â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"I was rounding first, and from my angle, it looked like he brought it back," said Conrad. "I put my hands on my helmet, like, 'No way he brought that back. At least we got the sac fly.' Then the fans went crazy and they kept running around the bases. So I started sprinting to get to home plate as fast as I could. Talk about a change of emotion. Going from he caught it to winning the game with a walk-off is pretty cool." â†µâ†µConrad's slam marked the third-straight game this week that the Braves won in walkoff fashion. As mentioned above, it wasn't the only walkoff hit of the day, as 700-year-old man Ken Griffey – at what point will it be weird that we call him Junior – had a ninth-inning single to lead the Mariners over the Blue Jays.
â†µGriffey has had a pretty tough few weeks, so it surely felt good for him to contribute on the field. As Dave Brown at Yahoo suggests, maybe the Mariners should send him home as a winner: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Junior sure seemed to show us, didn't he? â†µâ‡¥â†µGive a guy a day, Dave. The fact is, the Mariners haven't had much to celebrate this year, as the walkoff was just the 15th win for the club this season. In fact, while the Braves have three-straight walkoff wins, it was the third time in a week the Mariners have been involved in a walkoff game, but just the first time they were on the winning side, making yesterday's victory all the sweeter for the M's. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"The greatest Mariner in history, coming through with the big hit," Mike Sweeney said. â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥Now, he needs to hear these words: "You're fired." â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥Considering that's kind of unpalatable, maybe we could look at it like George Costanza would. Leave on a high note, Junior. The Mariners need to stop acting as enablers, end the charade and retire their stud. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µIt hasn't just been the Mariners and Braves, either. Since Monday, there have been 11 walkoff wins in Major League Baseball. â†µâ†µ
â†µIf we look back a full week, we can include two more walkoff wins from Saturday to make a six-day total of 13, with only one day during that span – Sunday – without a walkoff victory. â†µâ†µ
â†µThe walkoffs have not been run of the mill either. On Saturday we saw a home run for the Rays over the Mariners – OK, rather traditional – and a walkoff walk to give the Tigers a win over the Red Sox. On Monday, as discussed earlier in the week, we saw two different two-run homers and a walkoff bunt to win games. On Tuesday we had three normal, run-of-the-mill singles to win games, but also got to see a game between the Braves and Mets decided by a David Wright throwing error. â†µâ†µ
â†µWednesday's walkoffs included a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring double, while yesterday's walkoff hits included the single by Griffey and the salami by Conrad. â†µâ†µ
â†µA professional gambler once spent half an hour one night in Vegas teaching me the merits of correlated parlays and chiding me for betting any kind of parlay bet that isn't correlated. Coincidence is not the same as being connected, and while something may look like a trend, it could be nothing more than a complete statistical anomaly. To that point, the fact that we've seen 11 walkoff wins in the last 60 MLB games played – 18 percent of games since Monday have ended in a walkoff win – is not a trend. It's complete coincidence. It's a statistical anomaly. â†µâ†µ
â†µYet if someone handed me the right odds that there'd be a couple of walkoff wins tonight, it'd be hard to pass up. Let's just say, as much as it would pain my gambling friend to read, I wouldn’t bet against it happening tonight. Heck, I bet he wouldn’t either. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.