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The New York Maths

The Philadelphia Phillies’ win probability was a cool 100 percent entering the ninth inning on Thursday

May 06, 2022

On Thursday night, the New York Mets pulled off the MLB comeback of the year so far, rallying from a 7-1 deficit in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7. Led by two hits in the final frame from Starling Marte, the Mets roared back from certain defeat to claim their 19th win of the season.

And when we say "certain," we mean it. Before Marte's infield single, Lindor's two-run blast, Alonso's double down the left field line, McNeil's single through the hole, Canha's pitcher bank shot, Davis' RBI double, Nimmo's game-tying single, and Marte's go-ahead double, Baseball Savant had the Phillies’ ninth-inning win probability at a cool 100 percent.

We’re no mathematicians, but we’re pretty sure that's the theoretical limit. In fact, when a probability reaches 100 percent, it ceases to become probability and instead becomes fact. But not in baseball. Nothing about baseball makes sense. Nothing about baseball adheres to givens and certainties. It’s a sport where you can hit the same ball the same way twice and get two totally different results. It’s a sport where the field isn’t square, it’s a square tilted on its tip. It’s a sport where fans who are terrified of goats turn their hats inside out while eating tasteless kettle corn during a game that lasts nine periods instead of an even 10. In this bizarro world where it’s opposite day every day, 100% might as well be 0%.

But don’t take our word for it. Just ask the Phillies