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
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogKepner (NYT): Astros’ Jose Altuve Doesn’t Let Height Be a Disadvantage
(5 - 8:46am, Aug 20)
Last: depletion

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(4217 - 8:42am, Aug 20)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogPlenty of Pete Rose ahead on ESPN
(6 - 8:42am, Aug 20)
Last: depletion

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-19-2014
(73 - 8:39am, Aug 20)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2014
(3 - 8:36am, Aug 20)
Last: depletion

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(428 - 8:35am, Aug 20)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogDerek Jeter's historic hit that tied Honus Wagner ruled an error by MLB
(7 - 8:34am, Aug 20)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogRingolsby: Helton's numbers stack up against the best
(63 - 8:33am, Aug 20)
Last: Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class

NewsblogKeidel: Don’t Be Fooled — The Yankees’ Season Is Over
(60 - 8:29am, Aug 20)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogIwakuma gives Mariners a second true ace
(7 - 8:29am, Aug 20)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

Newsblog[Ubaldo] Jimenez to the bullpen
(11 - 8:13am, Aug 20)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogJohn Torres: MLB's new boss better not whiff on sport's future
(1 - 8:01am, Aug 20)
Last: RMc's desperate, often sordid world

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(41 - 7:19am, Aug 20)
Last: NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!)

NewsblogGammons Notes - 8/17/14
(54 - 3:06am, Aug 20)
Last: JAHV (DanF)

NewsblogPosnanski: The need – the need for speed
(9 - 2:57am, Aug 20)
Last: Cooper Nielson

Page rendered in 0.1234 seconds
52 querie(s) executed