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AmarilloRed
05-05-2008, 10:34 PM
CLUTCH?

The Reds can't get a big two-out hit. They were hitting .125 with runners in scoring position and two outs entering Sunday. That was the worst in baseball. The New York Mets, at .171, were second worst.




I knew the Reds were struggling in this department, but .125? That is simply horrible.:thumbdown

IslandRed
05-06-2008, 10:52 AM
Hey, we're up to .135 after yesterday.

The peripheral numbers are just as ugly: .244 OBP, .198 SLG. No home runs, zip, zero. And that's in 127 plate appearances as a team with RISP/two outs.

The .244 OBP is the one to look at, though. It means when a Reds hitter has come to the plate with a runner on second and/or third and two outs, three times out of four it's been inning over.

KronoRed
05-06-2008, 12:30 PM
That will turn around eventually, luck and all that.

Raisor
05-06-2008, 12:44 PM
Just to put it in context

NL average

.229/.342/.358/.701

WMR
05-06-2008, 12:45 PM
Clutch does not exist. The team is just sucking.

cincrazy
05-06-2008, 01:13 PM
That will turn around eventually, luck and all that.

I've been waiting the better part of 8 years, and I'm still waiting for it to turn around :thumbup:

TRF
05-06-2008, 01:16 PM
Clutch does not exist. The team is just sucking.

Clutch exists, but yeah, they do kinda suck right now.

Dom Heffner
05-06-2008, 01:17 PM
Clutch does not exist. The team is just sucking.

Yep. That's why you can just plug in any great middle reliever and make him a closer. People just stand out there and play the way they always play with no regard to score, situation or anything else.

Jon Broxton would be a great closer. So would Rafael Betancourt. ;)

BCubb2003
05-06-2008, 01:28 PM
Clutch is the absence of choke.

gonelong
05-06-2008, 01:37 PM
While these numbers are not good I think they are a bit overquoted by the media types.

Yesterday Dunn hits a 2 out, 2 run homer in the 3rd inning. Since no runners were in "scoring position" it doesn't help these numbers out at all (for Dunn or the team as a whole), but it was a pretty important turn of events for the Reds.

GL

Caveat Emperor
05-06-2008, 02:47 PM
This stat is just the definition of stupidity.

The team stinks because they can't score runs no matter how many outs there are in the inning.

oneupper
05-06-2008, 02:58 PM
While these numbers are not good I think they are a bit overquoted by the media types.

Yesterday Dunn hits a 2 out, 2 run homer in the 3rd inning. Since no runners were in "scoring position" it doesn't help these numbers out at all (for Dunn or the team as a whole), but it was a pretty important turn of events for the Reds.

GL

Why I prefer WPA which values every situation independently. A two-out RBI single while losing 9-1 is hardly clutch either (but it would count for that stat)

blumj
05-06-2008, 03:35 PM
Clutch does not exist. The team is just sucking.

Of course, clutch exists, silly. It's just not predictive of future clutch. But as a description of past events, it is what it is.

TRF
05-06-2008, 03:42 PM
I don't think you can predict a clutch event, in that the situation is one described as clutch and player X delivers. I think you can identify players that are more likely to deliver in said situation. The problem is it's a two-fold clutch event. The situation is also clutch for the guy on the mound. That's why it is so hard to predict.

WMR
05-06-2008, 03:49 PM
Of course, clutch exists, silly. It's just not predictive of future clutch. But as a description of past events, it is what it is.


I don't think you can predict a clutch event, in that the situation is one described as clutch and player X delivers. I think you can identify players that are more likely to deliver in said situation. The problem is it's a two-fold clutch event. The situation is also clutch for the guy on the mound. That's why it is so hard to predict.

Sounds like a great play to me.

Great players tend to make great plays more often than non-great players, but non-great players can make great plays on occasion, just more infrequently than great players. :redface:

blumj
05-06-2008, 04:04 PM
Sounds like a great play to me.

Great players tend to make great plays more often than non-great players, but non-great players can make great plays on occasion, just more infrequently than great players. :redface:

But players can make great plays in any situation. There's nothing wrong with having a word that describes great plays that are made in more crucial situations.

WMR
05-06-2008, 04:06 PM
But players can make great plays in any situation. There's nothing wrong with having a word that describes great plays that are made in more crucial situations.

I just don't believe in clutch.

Perhaps our respective definitions of clutch are disparate.

RedsManRick
05-06-2008, 04:11 PM
But players can make great plays in any situation. There's nothing wrong with having a word that describes great plays that are made in more crucial situations.

Exactly. Clutch is something that happens, a characteristic of an in which the outcome is highly dependent; it's just not a good/accurate descriptor of a person or a team.

To say the Reds aren't clutch is to say that they have not performed as well in clutch situations as they have elsewhere, nothing more or less. Unfortunately, we tend to state it as if it were a fact, something likely to be projected forward, rather than merely as a descriptor of past events. I think the tense confusion is what causes problems.

If one means to infer that the Reds are likely to continue to be "not clutch", I'd have to question how they arrived at that conclusion. All evidence I've seen has suggested that any clutch "skill" is merely an ability to maintain one's abilities as opposed to seeing them suffer -- but the scale is such as to be next to meaningless.

TRF
05-06-2008, 04:12 PM
I just don't believe in clutch.

Perhaps our respective definitions of clutch are disparate.

You don't believe a person can perform at a higher level during pressure situations?

Cooper
05-06-2008, 04:14 PM
To follow up with what oneupper reports -that WPA stuff is really interesting. I'm not sure i believe in it as far as predictive value--but i like to look at it on the baseball-refernce.com site after the fact to see what plays were most important.

I probably look at that site 10 times a day. Same with here.

Highlifeman21
05-06-2008, 04:45 PM
When I read the title of this thread, I was wondering why we were talking about cars in the ORG....

As for baseball clutch, it exists but there's no easy way to quantify it as an entity. BCubb said it best though, clutch is the absence of choke.

Choking seems to be something more easily quantified, so why not look at clutch from the reverse angle, and at the end of the year look at how many times a player didn't choke compared with how many chances he had to choke, and there's your percentage.

dougdirt
05-06-2008, 05:04 PM
When I read the title of this thread, I was wondering why we were talking about cars in the ORG....

As for baseball clutch, it exists but there's no easy way to quantify it as an entity. BCubb said it best though, clutch is the absence of choke.

Choking seems to be something more easily quantified, so why not look at clutch from the reverse angle, and at the end of the year look at how many times a player didn't choke compared with how many chances he had to choke, and there's your percentage.
Well what defines choke? Bases loaded, 2 out down by 1 and the guy lines out to the left fielder... did he really choke? It goes down the same as a strikeout, but the two situations were clearly different.

Raisor
05-06-2008, 05:06 PM
You don't believe a person can perform at a higher level during pressure situations?

Personally, I just don't think any two people can agree to what "clutch" means, which makes it hard to agree on who is "clutch" or not.

WMR
05-06-2008, 05:06 PM
You don't believe a person can perform at a higher level during pressure situations?

I guess it just seems to me that whatever a player does: that's who he is; combined with the role of the pitcher in the whole process.

JMO, but baseball just seems too nebulous a sport as far as outcomes and the hundreds of things which add together to create those outcomes wherein specific players can be labeled as clutch...

TRF
05-06-2008, 05:27 PM
To me, again, this is JMO, but clutch is runners in scoring position late in a close game. 8th inning or later. It's clutch for both the hitter and the pitcher, and to a much lesser degree, the fielders.

IMO, a hitter that drives in a run has performed well. If said hitter lines out, and ends the inning, He STILL performed well albeit with a bad result.

Any ball in play that results in 2 or more outs is choking. A K to end the inning for a hitter is choking.

For a pitcher, the opposite is true. K's are awesome. Ground balls are great, but have the added element of risk. Line Drives, even if caught are bad. Line drive for both hitters and pitchers have the added element of luck, weighted differently. For pitchers, LD's are bad, but with a little luck, it's an at 'em ball. For hitters they're great, but with a little bad luck it's an at 'em ball.

I'd measure clutch not by outcome, but by peripheral performance with a certain amount of luck added.

Apply the above LD rule to BB's minus the luck factor.

dougdirt
05-06-2008, 05:33 PM
To me, again, this is JMO, but clutch is runners in scoring position late in a close game. 8th inning or later. It's clutch for both the hitter and the pitcher, and to a much lesser degree, the fielders.
What if its a tie game or a 1 run game and someone hits a solo HR? What if a runner is on first and scores on a double? How is either situation any less clutch?

TRF
05-06-2008, 05:46 PM
Well you can obviously add situations, but the rules still apply. again, just my opinion.

blumj
05-06-2008, 06:06 PM
I just don't believe in clutch.

Perhaps our respective definitions of clutch are disparate.
If I say, "Bob got a clutch hit.", I mean that one hit was a particularly important play in that game. If someone else wants to interpret what I said to mean, "Bob is a clutch hitter," he's misinterpreting me, because that's not what I said, nor would he have any logical reason to believe that's what I meant. Bob did something, I described what he did, I did not describe Bob.

VR
05-06-2008, 06:17 PM
What if its a tie game or a 1 run game and someone hits a solo HR? What if a runner is on first and scores on a double? How is either situation any less clutch?


I've heard several variations over the years....
"Real pressure in golf is playing for $10 when you only have $5 in your pocket"
Lee Trevino

Defining clutch is difficult, but anyone who's played sports would agree that it exists. It can be related to nerves, it can be related to a skill being 'exposed', or it can be related to just not being prepared.

wheels
05-06-2008, 06:19 PM
I love this thread.

It's making my head spin in a really good way......Or maybe it's the after work "wine tasting" I just attended.

Highlifeman21
05-06-2008, 08:41 PM
Well what defines choke? Bases loaded, 2 out down by 1 and the guy lines out to the left fielder... did he really choke? It goes down the same as a strikeout, but the two situations were clearly different.

To me, choke is when a player does something he ordinarily would not have done.

In your situation, if a player is prone or apt to K, then that player striking out isn't choking to me, since it's almost expected. If the player altered his approach given the situation, and it resulted in the lineout, then I consider the player having choked due to intentionally changing his approach.

The change in the approach most likely led to the different or foreign outcome.

jojo
05-06-2008, 09:04 PM
But players can make great plays in any situation. There's nothing wrong with having a word that describes great plays that are made in more crucial situations.

Except it misleads.

jojo
05-06-2008, 09:08 PM
Any ball in play that results in 2 or more outs is choking. A K to end the inning for a hitter is choking.

Why can't it just be good defense or pitching. Or a good at bat that didn't have a good result?

This is an extreme, but it seems inaccurate to describe a ten pitch at bat that ends in a strikeout as a choke job...

Ltlabner
05-06-2008, 09:10 PM
This is an extreme, but it seems inaccurate to describe a ten pitch at bat that ends in a strikeout as a choke job...

The batters job is to avoid outs no?

Sure there's some benefit from running up the pitch count, but if you leave runners stranded in a crucial situation and end the inning by striking out nobody is going to hi-five you for the extra 2 or 3 pitches thrown.

PuffyPig
05-06-2008, 09:12 PM
To me, choke is when a player does something he ordinarily would not have done.

In your situation, if a player is prone or apt to K, then that player striking out isn't choking to me, since it's almost expected. If the player altered his approach given the situation, and it resulted in the lineout, then I consider the player having choked due to intentionally changing his approach.

The change in the approach most likely led to the different or foreign outcome.

A player who normally strikes out should change his approach.

Based on your definition, a player who normally strikes out, but changes his approach and hits a HR, chokes?

jojo
05-06-2008, 09:14 PM
The batters job is to avoid outs no?

Sure there's some benefit from running up the pitch count, but if you leave runners stranded in a crucial situation and end the inning by striking out nobody is going to hi-five you for the extra 2 or 3 pitches thrown.

Sure. Ted Williams choked 60% of the time during his historic season though?


I just don't think it's fair (or more to the point-accurate) to label an event as a case of choking simply because we're more disappointed by the outcome given the situation.

Ltlabner
05-06-2008, 09:16 PM
You don't believe a person can perform at a higher level during pressure situations?

Of corse they can. Some people simply can dial in more when under stress than others. Happens to me target shooting all the time. Out there by myself I may or may not shoot well. I get sloppy, tired and sometimes just lazy. Put some money or pride on the line with some friendly competition and suddenly I'm paying a lot more attention. I may or may not win whatever the game is but I almost always shoot better than when I'm at the range by myself. Same is likely true for those who play golf, tennis or thow darts.

It seems logical to me that people in general perform better when under some stress, some folks fall apart with just a little stress while some people just excel under stress.

Problem is it's so subjective and almost impossible to measure from person to person. Almost like judging someones intensity level by how angry or happy they look during the game.

But in general I'm with you, there are some folks I want next to me when the defication hits the ventilation. There are some folks who simply would fall apart under stress and I don't want them anywhere near me. How that's not "clutch" I don't know.

Ltlabner
05-06-2008, 09:17 PM
Sure. Ted Williams choked 60% of the time during his historic season though?

Yep.

Fortunatley the other guys folded 70% to 80% of the time thus Williams came out on top. Williams simply responded to the moment and avoided failure more often than the rest of them. Sounds pretty "clutch" to me.

Highlifeman21
05-06-2008, 09:39 PM
A player who normally strikes out should change his approach.

Based on your definition, a player who normally strikes out, but changes his approach and hits a HR, chokes?

Perhaps I didn't explain my definition that well. I apologize.

All players make outs. To me, a player that makes outs differently than usual is choking.

doug's situation was a player ending a game with a strikeout or a line out. If the player at bat normally strikes out as his out of choice, but then lines out (which is atypical for that same player), I'd argue that a change in approach given the situation caused the player to "choke".

My premise is that changing your approach for individual situations leads to choking.

Ltlabner
05-06-2008, 09:43 PM
My premise is that changing your approach for individual situations leads to choking.

Yep. Just like over-throwing the ball trying to get that strike-out (resulting in a BB or the batter crushing it). Or a batter trying to hit one to mars and weakly popping up or swinging at junk instead of just doing their thing as they normally would.

jojo
05-06-2008, 09:49 PM
Yep.

Fortunatley the other guys folded 70% to 80% of the time thus Williams came out on top. Williams simply responded to the moment and avoided failure more often than the rest of them. Sounds pretty "clutch" to me.

It sounds like an untenable definition to me.

VR
05-06-2008, 09:50 PM
At the plate....the opportunity to 'choke' is minimal. Making an out is expected. Success is rare. Choking is a failure to complete an easy task.

AmarilloRed
05-06-2008, 11:48 PM
Loser of six of its last seven games, Cincinnati isn't just saving anemic hitting displays for Harang. In this seven-game stretch, the Reds are batting .183 (40-for-219) as a team. For the season, they entered the game with a .135 average with two outs and runners in scoring position. They were ranked 12th in the National League in both runs scored and team batting average.

It is not just clutch situations, it is the offense as a whole.Let's face it, the Reds offense is just bad right now.

Patrick Bateman
05-07-2008, 12:54 AM
I think Jojo hit the nail on the head. Often, a player's failure isn't neccessarily the result of choking. Players get out the majority of the time, not simply because of choking, but players can get out after having great at-bats. It's not always just the end result that you can be judged by. The Ted Williams example is a good one. He got out half the time... not because of choking, but because outs happen. Sometimes the opposing pitcher can be amazing, the defense makes a great play, or perhaps you sting a line drive right at a fielder. It happens to everyone. The best guys consistently put themselves in the best position to succeed. Williams did that in any situation, and even then he got out plenty. Hits happen mainly because of talent... nerves and ability to focus play second fiddle... otherwise I might just have myself a chance at a major league career. Instead I would fail because I can't hit, but that wouldn't make me a "choker".

When guys like JJ Putz and Mariano Rivera make unhittable pitches, I have trouble blaming the hitter, when the odds of getting hits off those types of guys is around 20%.

Choking has more to do with the failure of pressure getting to you. Some players simply aren't good enough to consistently succeed. I mean Juan Castro could go up to the plate with nerves of steel, but in the end, he'll likely fail because of other reasons. Choking is when you fail because you let yourself become unfocused, overthink the situation at hand, and allowing that stuff to effect your performance.

SteelSD
05-07-2008, 01:59 AM
Of corse they can. Some people simply can dial in more when under stress than others. Happens to me target shooting all the time. Out there by myself I may or may not shoot well. I get sloppy, tired and sometimes just lazy. Put some money or pride on the line with some friendly competition and suddenly I'm paying a lot more attention. I may or may not win whatever the game is but I almost always shoot better than when I'm at the range by myself. Same is likely true for those who play golf, tennis or thow darts.

Target shooting? That's nowhere near the difficulty level of Major League Baseball. Maybe if your had about half a second to shoot around obstacles moving randomly at targets also moving randomly while having folks randomly bump you while you're ready to shoot. Seriously, spending oodles of time lining up a shot at a stationary target isn't anything akin to playing baseball at the highest level. The target isn't shooting back.

And, BTW, your description of your own behavior only tells us that you're unable to consistently play up to your normal or optimal level when the pressure isn't on. That doesn't demonstrate some kind of "clutch" behavior. It only demonstrates a variance between your "unmotivated" and "motivated" behavior, which you're interpreting as being "clutch". But that doesn't make you "clutch".


It seems logical to me that people in general perform better when under some stress, some folks fall apart with just a little stress while some people just excel under stress.

Sure. That's correct. But you don't get to the Show without being able to do all of that. The folks who can't do it all get weeded out far before that stage of the game because they simply don't perform.


Problem is it's so subjective and almost impossible to measure from person to person. Almost like judging someones intensity level by how angry or happy they look during the game.

We can probably measure it and it begins with folks who aren't scared by the 90+ MPH life-threatening projectiles being thrown in their vicinity. That includes all MLB hitters.


But in general I'm with you, there are some folks I want next to me when the defication hits the ventilation. There are some folks who simply would fall apart under stress and I don't want them anywhere near me. How that's not "clutch" I don't know.

If you have someone who can only rise to the occasion, then you don't have someone who's "clutch". You have a slacker who will only produce when there's pressure to perform.

BCubb2003
05-07-2008, 03:01 AM
Choke is the absence of grace under pressure.

Ltlabner
05-07-2008, 03:36 PM
Target shooting? That's nowhere near the difficulty level of Major League Baseball. Maybe if your had about half a second to shoot around obstacles moving randomly at targets also moving randomly while having folks randomly bump you while you're ready to shoot. Seriously, spending oodles of time lining up a shot at a stationary target isn't anything akin to playing baseball at the highest level. The target isn't shooting back.

With the exception of folks shooting back, what I call target shooting is much like what you describe. Much more like an IPSC or IDPA event than just standing there for an hour lining up a shot. In fact, almost exactly like what you describe.

But my point wasn't to compare the two (especially since there isn't a comparison) since clutch situations aren't defined strictly by what occurs on the baseball field. Clutch isn't defined by the situation, but generally how the person responds under stress. Clutch events can happen anywhere..in a business meeting, on the golf corse or in the middle of a personal emergancy.


That doesn't demonstrate some kind of "clutch" behavior. It only demonstrates a variance between your "unmotivated" and "motivated" behavior, which you're interpreting as being "clutch". But that doesn't make you "clutch".

Sure it does. Each hit a guy makes when the game is on the line is very likely to translate into millions of dollars. Not to mention the pressure of having thousands and perhaps millions of eyes perhaps watching you fail. That's not motivation? That;s not pressure? That's not stress? Stress/pressure can be very motivating if you ask me. (motivation isn't always stress, but stress can be motivation).

Guys who respond to the motivation are clutch. Guys who screw up because of the pressure have choked.

But as someone else said, that's my personal defination of clutch/choke. Yours may well be different. Since there's no legal defintion neither of us can lay claim to "the truth".


If you have someone who can only rise to the occasion, then you don't have someone who's "clutch". You have a slacker who will only produce when there's pressure to perform.

Depends on what level from which they rise. If they already are performing at a high level most of the time, not folding under the pressure and coming through is most certinally clutch. And that person is also not a slacker.