Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Allen Barra: A-Rod’s Not The Yankees’ Only Playoff Goat

Clearing the Baseless: The Greatest Baseball Debate of the Last New York Minute

I pretty much agree with Bill James’s early assessment on the topic, which was that what a batter hits in so-called “clutch” situations is close to what he hits in all other situations - and that if this wasn’t obvious, it’s merely because there hadn’t been enough of a sampling. In other words, if Willie Mays never hit a home run in 21 World Series games it was simply luck of the draw. Given, say, another two World Series and another 10 or 12 games, if he batted another 40 times and hit, say, 6 home runs, then he’d have 7 home runs in 114 at-bats, which would be almost the same ratio as his regular season average.

It’s unsettling to watch baseball as long as I have and suddenly have to entertain an entirely new concept, but after watching the Yankees play like deer caught in the headlights in game after game, I’m beginning to think I was wrong about clutch hitting. Or at least wrong about clutch hitting as it manifests itself in the postseason, which is about as clutch as I can think of.

...Here’s the kicker: the best of the bunch turns out to be Alex Rodriguez. I was surprised, as I expected him to be much worse than the others. But after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Tigers, he had played in 74 postseason games and come to bat 272 times with 72 hits for a batting average of .266 - modest, but way above that of Cano (.226), Granderson (.242), Swisher (.167) or Teixeira (.227). A-Rod had, by the way, just 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. Projected over the same 618 postseason at-bats as the other four had combined, he would probably have come up with 30 home runs and 93 RBIs. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible, and his numbers were made a whole lot worse by his dreadful hitting in the last two weeks.

I’m still not sure I believe in clutch hitting or that the postseasons of all five of the Yankees’ regular season big boppers really reflects that they can’t hit in the clutch. But it certainly doesn’t provide any evidence that they are clutch hitters. At the least, though, it suggests that the dreadful batting performances we’ve endured over the last seven games aren’t that much different than what the five of them have done over their entire postseason careers. Think about that.

Repoz Posted: October 16, 2012 at 05:22 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost asks "What Would Harveys Do?"
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogKeep baseball out of the Olympics (and softball too)
(4 - 3:53pm, Jul 26)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

NewsblogOTP 2016 July 25: Card Shark - Bikini trading-card king Brian Wallos expands his empire to politics
(487 - 3:52pm, Jul 26)
Last: zonk

NewsblogWill Hall of Fame’s new election rules help former Tigers?
(68 - 3:49pm, Jul 26)
Last: Ithaca2323

NewsblogSchedule, free-agent compensation among issues on the table between MLB, union | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(34 - 3:40pm, Jul 26)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogStatcast: Bradley Jr. hits 101 | MLB.com
(14 - 3:37pm, Jul 26)
Last: Anonymous Observer

NewsblogReflections On A Weekend With The Baseball Gods
(1 - 3:34pm, Jul 26)
Last: There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie)

NewsblogBlue Jays reportedly deal for Melvin Upton Jr. | MLB.com
(34 - 3:31pm, Jul 26)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogChris Sale talks about White Sox suspension | MLB.com
(32 - 3:21pm, Jul 26)
Last: I am Ted F'ing Williams

NewsblogLaw: Cubs pay a heavy price for Aroldis Chapman, on and off the field - Keith Law Blog- ESPN
(34 - 3:20pm, Jul 26)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1644 - 2:53pm, Jul 26)
Last: Man o' Schwar

Newsblog2016 New York City Softball Game
(218 - 2:47pm, Jul 26)
Last: Hysterical & Useless

NewsblogYounger breed of techies replacing baseball lifers in GM roles - StarTribune.com
(44 - 2:42pm, Jul 26)
Last: DanG

NewsblogBaseball can be a cruel game. Just ask Mike Mayers. | Sports on Earth
(4 - 2:15pm, Jul 26)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogOT: 2016 Summer Soccer Thread
(1508 - 1:42pm, Jul 26)
Last: Sean Forman

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-26-16
(5 - 1:19pm, Jul 26)
Last: There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie)

Page rendered in 0.1222 seconds
45 querie(s) executed