9. Scott Podsednik, 2005 Chicago White Sox. There was drama aplenty in the Game two of the 2005 World Series at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, some of which will be discussed later in this article.
It will suffice for the moment to say that the Sox held a 6-4 lead and were three outs away from taking a 2-0 Series advantage when closer Bobby Jenks experienced issues. After Jeff Bagwell singled and Chris Burke drew a one-out walk to begin he top of the ninth, Jose Vizcaino came up to pinch hit with two out and the game on the line. Vizcaino lined a game-tying base hit that sent the game to the bottom of the ninth as a 6-6 tie.
But that only ratcheted up the spotlight on Podsednik, who poled Brad Lidge’s one-out 2-1 pitch in that bottom of the ninth into the right field seats for a walk-off home run. Podsednik was the least likely candidate for such dramatics; it was his only home run in more than 570 plate appearances that entire season. Go figure. Podsednik Win Probability Added: 41 percent.
8. Gene Tenace, 1973 Oakland A’s. With four home runs and a .348 batting average, Tenace had been the star of Oakland’s 1972 World Series triumph over the Cincinnati Reds. But his most decisive post-season moment occurred a year later, and it came in an Oakland defeat.
Having won Game One, the A’s trailed the underdog New York Mets 6-4 entering the ninth inning of Game Two. Deron Johnson gave the home fans reason for hope with a ringing double off Mets closer Tug McGraw, but McGraw steadied and retired Bert Campaneris and Joe Rudi before walking Sal Bando. That put the tying runs on base for Reggie Jackson, who singled, sending Allen Lewis, a pinch runner for Johnson, across.
It also gave Tenace another shot at the role of post-season hero. No game-winning home run was to be found, but he did manage a single to left that scored Bando with the tying run.
It wasn’t ultimately enough because the Mets won the game 10-7 in 12 innings. But Oakland held on to win the Series in seven tense games. Tenace Win Probability Added: 42 percent.