I had the opportunity to attend the last Mariners game of the year last night thanks to my wonderful co-worker. There was a baseball game being played in front of me, but it was undoubtedly a sideshow to the main attraction happening on the Safeco Field scoreboards. Fans in all sections had their eyes scanning from home plate to the scoreboards as the AL Wildcard race took another gut-wrenching turn and ended with a fantastic boom. With two teams tied on the last day of the regular season, the AL Wildcard race was assured an exciting finish – but few could have predicted how exciting it would be. Last night was the rebirth of my baseball fanhood, and a justification for the time I spend following it.
For those of you who weren’t able to follow what happened in the night’s games, here’s a quick recap:
- Boston had an 8.5 game lead in the wildcard race to begin play in September
- Entering their final games of the season, Tampa and Boston were tied
- Boston had a 3-2 lead last night in the 9th
- Tampa was losing their game 7-0 entering the bottom of the 8th inning
- Tampa came back with a 6 run rally, to make it a 7-6 game
- Tampa’s Dan Johnson hit an improbable 2-out, 2-strike home run to tie the game
- Boston then lost 4-3 on a Robert Andino game-winning single
- Tampa’s Evan Longoria, minutes later, hit a walk-off home-run to win it for the Rays
Utilizing our terrific platform Visible Intelligence and keying in on the players and teams involved (terms like Longoria, Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, Papelbon, etc.), we can see that there were major volume spikes that trended with important game events.
Culminating at around midnight eastern time, we can see that Robert Andino’s game-winning single and Evan Longoria’s walk-off home-run caused a massive volume jump. One might wonder where most of this volume jump occurred – those of you who guessed Twitter would be correct.
Because of its popularity and the ease it allows for users to provide their thoughts, Twitter dominated the immediate messaging about the game. A number of sports forums and blogs were also popular venues to share thoughts, as was Facebook.
Another interesting way to break-up the data is by looking at sentiment. Based on the negative spike in the graph below, my guess is that there were a ton of BoSox fans posting!
Those poor Red Sox fans… I’d feel sorry for you, but I haven’t seen a winning Mariners team in awhile.
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