Rays pitcher Nick Anderson is Box-Toppers Player of the Game in Tuesday’s American League Division Series Game 4 win over the Astros.
Anderson struck out two over 2 1/3 scoreless middle relief innings, allowing one hit and no walks, in the 4-1 win, the day’s only game.
Anderson did not pick up the win, earning a no-decision, entering the game in the fourth inning with the Rays having a 3-0 lead. He was the Rays third pitcher of the game, entering after starter Diego Castillo (1.2IP H 0R BB 3K ND, Box-Toppers game score +2.2) and reliever Ryan Yarbrough (2IP 2H 0R 0BB 0K W, Box-Toppers game score 0.0).
Starter Castillo did not earn the win, though he exited with a 3-0 lead, because as a starter, he did not pitch the requisite five innings to earn the win. Yarbrough, who relieved him, earned the win because he held the lead through his two innings.
When awarding Player of the Game honors, Box-Toppers first looks at the pitcher who have either completed three innings or earned the win or the save. No Rays pitcher had three innings, so we first considered Yarbrough with the win and Blake Snell, who earned the save. Yarbrough had a game score of 0.0 and Snell had a game score of +1.2 (0.2IP 0H 0R 0BB K Sv).
No batter had a higher game score than Snell’s +1.2. Highest was rightfielder Avisail Garcia, who had a game score of 0.0 (4-5 R 0BI).
Next, Box-Toppers looks to see if any Rays pitcher with the same or more innings pitched had a higher Box-Toppers game score than the player leading for Player of the Game. Of the Rays’ five other pitchers appearing Tuesday, all had at least 2/3 of an inning pitched, as did Snell. And two of those five had higher Box-Toppers game scores:
Starter Castillo had a game score of +2.2 over 1 2/3 innings.
Reliever Anderson had a game score of +3.1 over 2 1/2 innings.
That means Anderson earns Player of the Game Tuseday because he had a higher Box-Toppers game score and the same or more innings pitched as the pitcher who otherwise would have been Player of the Game.
Anderson earned 4.0 Box-Toppers points during the 2019 regular season, 260th among all players, 63rd among AL batters and seventh among AL middle relievers.
Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander had an uncharacteristically low Box-Toppers game score of -9.8 (3.2IP 7H 4R 3BB 5K L). Verlander ranked second in Box-Toppers season player rankings (27.5 Box-Toppers points), second only to teammate Gerrit Cole (32.2). Verlander was pitching on short rest after dominating the Rays with a Box-Toppers game score of +11.0 in Friday’s opening game of the series, a 6-2 Astros win.
The Rays tie the best-of-five-game series with the Astros, 2-2, which concludes Thursday in Houston. The winner faces the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series beginning Saturday.
Top player from each gameListed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score (BTG)
|+3.1||`TB 4, HOU 1||Nick Anderson||‑||‑||‑||‑||2.1||1||0||0||0||2|
` Pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.
Coming Wednesday: Both National League Division Series playoffs conclude:
NLDS Game 5: Cardinals at Braves, series tied, 2-2
The pitching matchup Wednesday:
Cardinals—Jack Flaherty, 16.5 Box-Toppers points, 11th among all players, fifth among NL pitchers.
Braves—Mike Foltynewicz, 5.0 Box-Toppers points, 166th among all players, 58th among NL pitchers.
A rematch of the Game 2 starting pitchers, in which the Braves won, 3-0, and Foltynewicz was Player of the Game.
NLDS Game 5: Nationals at Dodgers, series tied, 2-2
The pitching matchup Wednesday:
Nationals—Stephen Strasburg, 20.7 Box-Toppers points, third among all players, first among NL pitchers.
Dodgers—Walker Buehler, 16.4 Box-Toppers points, 13th among all players, seventh among NL pitchers.
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
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