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2011 World Series Game 2: Morning After Thoughts

I say again, words do not do last night's game justice. Those of you who watched witnessed probably the most dramatic ninth inning in the history of this franchise, considering what was on the line. Not just because of the comeback, but what was on the line.

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1-1 is not just okay, 1-1 is something that should thrill you. Yes, a good showing by the offense and it's 2-0, but 2-0 would be a vice grip on the series. The Rangers went on the road and got a win when the Cardinals had their two best pitchers on the mound. The series may be tied, but getting a win in the first two was not a guarantee, and escaping with one is enough to put Texas in a better position than they were before the series even began. A series they were already the favorites in.

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2-0, meanwhile, would not have been the end of things, but it would have put the Cardinals as heavy favorites. A one-run game makes a massive difference in this series, and that is what the ninth inning was about. It was not just a win pulled out against some horrible odds, it was a win that shifted the odds of the series itself in a massive fashion.

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Now, this is a five game series where Texas has homefield advantage, and the pitching matchups in three of the games favor Texas dramatically more than the first two did. Using the same model from the series preview to forecast the Rangers' probabilities of winning, the Rangers' odds of winning it all have now grown to 71%. A small growth from before the series started, but still growth, and certainly growth from yesterday morning. More importantly, with the Cardinals win that seemed so imminent before Kinsler's fly ball fell in front of Rafael Furcal, the percentage chance would have been a dismal 35% of winning the series. That ninth inning of the Rangers had an 84% swing in win probability, and resulted in something like a 46% swing in probability of winning the series.

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Now to think of other ways to come up with how huge and dramatic that game was. Seriously, it was the sort of legendary game that a franchise plays in highlight films forever, and if Texas pulls this series out, it will probably be remembered as the turning point in their first title.

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Three to go, two to spare.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.