Phillies outfielder Jeff Francoeur has made a habit of racking up timely hits, as I noted at Crashburn Alley a few days ago. Coming into Friday’s action at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, Francoeur had six hits that improved the Phillies’ odds of winning by at least 15 percent, using the Win Probability Added statistic, found on FanGraphs and Baseball Reference.
He’s had three hits that were real game-changers: a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Marlins on Sunday (.696 WPA), a tie-breaking two-run double against the Giants in the seventh inning on June 7 (.317 WPA), and a go-ahead three-run home run to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning against the Red Sox on April 8 (.297 WPA).
Francoeur hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th inning against reliever Rafael Soriano on Friday to break a 3-3 tie, registering a WPA of .437 — ranking as his second-most important hit this season. Watch:
Francoeur, 31, is hitting .265/.298/.469 with nine home runs and 33 RBI on the season. He has reportedly drawn trade interest from the Pirates. The rebuilding Phillies are now 35-63 and still have a seven-game lead for the worst record in baseball, which would earn them the first overall pick in the 2016 draft.