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Walk-off wisdom

Updated: October 20, 2009, 2:33 PM ET
By Buster Olney
This October has presented a treasure trove of comebacks and gut-wrenching moments and improbable finishes, and Monday was all about them. Some things to think about from the walk-off wins:

  1. Jonathan Broxton's final pitch to Jimmy Rollins was thrown at 98.8 mph. Rollins has seen more than 2,500 pitches this year during the regular season and postseason. That particular pitch was, quite literally, the fastest Rollins saw this year. And Rollins crushed it. I can't imagine the incredible feeling that Rollins had as he saw his line drive split the outfielders, knowing that the tying and winning runs would score.
  2. Jeff Mathis had a .211 batting average during the regular season, the lowest for any player in major league history who has had a walk-off hit in a postseason game.
  3. Before Mathis mashed his winning double, Yankees manager Joe Girardi made decisions that have come under heavy criticism. Girardi was vague in discussing why he replaced David Robertson with Alfredo Aceves, but it figures that he did so because, with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, he liked the matchup of stuff better with Aceves.

    Robertson relies almost entirely on fastballs. Seventy-one percent of the outs he registered this season came on fastballs, much higher than the league average. The batter who was coming to the plate, Howie Kendrick, is a notorious fastball hitter -- he's hit .341 against fastballs this year, 11th-best among all AL hitters for the regular season and postseason combined.

    For more on Girardi's strategy, notes on Dodgers-Phillies, signings and more, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

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