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Thread: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

  1. #31
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Clutch hits exist. However, players acquire them at career levels.

    Pay attention to the open sky

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  3. #32
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Quote Originally Posted by 15fan View Post
    Clutch pitching?

    See: Rivera, Mariano

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/riverma01.shtml

    As good as he is in the regular season, he's arguably the most clutch pitcher in post-season history.

    112 & 2/3 IP in the post-season, with a 0.80 ERA.

    As a point of reference, his career ERA entering the 2007 season is 2.29 in 881 & 2/3 innings.
    I knew someone would mention Rivera. And I completely agree.

    But clutch pitching seems to be easier to define. Clutch hitting much broader. Is it just RISP? Close and Late? Post season? All of the above or just some combination? Other? How many AB's in a particular situation is required before we stop saying "Small Sample"?

    Is Derek Jeter a clutch hitter? Well Derek Jeter any time is a great hitter. His three year splits are:
    .315 BA .386 OBP.468 SLG .854 OPS

    However when the bases are loaded (45 AB's) his numbers jump. Considerably.
    .356 BA .482 OBP .489 SLG .971 OPS

    So is he just getting better pitches or is he somehow a better hitter in the bases loaded situation?

    I don't know, but perhaps being a clutch hitter is something possible to be.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  4. #33
    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    So is he just getting better pitches or is he somehow a better hitter in the bases loaded situation?
    Or is he facing a pitcher who is struggling enough to load the basis?

  5. #34
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    But clutch pitching seems to be easier to define. Clutch hitting much broader. Is it just RISP? Close and Late? Post season? All of the above or just some combination? Other? How many AB's in a particular situation is required before we stop saying "Small Sample"?

    Good point. If you get a base hit in the first inning that scores the game's only run, is that clutch?

    I'm not sure they use this stat much anymore but in the 80s they used to use this Game Winning RBI stat. I believe it was defined as the RBI that put that team ahead for good. So if you scored 9 runs in the first inning and ended up winning 9-8, the guy who drove in the 1st run got the GWRBI. Perhaps in a situation like that or my previous example, clutch exists in the macro but not in the micro. At the time, it wasn't a big deal but when you ended up winning by 1 run, it became a bigger deal. Cause in the latter example, the guy who drove in the 9th run to put his team up 9-0 would not be considered clutch at the time of his RBI.
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  6. #35
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Good point. If you get a base hit in the first inning that scores the game's only run, is that clutch?

    I'm not sure they use this stat much anymore but in the 80s they used to use this Game Winning RBI stat. I believe it was defined as the RBI that put that team ahead for good. So if you scored 9 runs in the first inning and ended up winning 9-8, the guy who drove in the 1st run got the GWRBI. Perhaps in a situation like that or my previous example, clutch exists in the macro but not in the micro. At the time, it wasn't a big deal but when you ended up winning by 1 run, it became a bigger deal. Cause in the latter example, the guy who drove in the 9th run to put his team up 9-0 would not be considered clutch at the time of his RBI.
    There ought to be some kind of sliding scale. A homer with no one on in the first inning of a scoreless game isn't as clutch as a single with runners in scoring position in the first inning of a scoreless game. Clutch isn't so much about the actual effect on the score but about "grace under pressure," and that pressure can come early. In a 9-8 game, there are likely to be many clutch situations.

  7. #36
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Or is he facing a pitcher who is struggling enough to load the basis?
    And if the pitcher that loaded the bases is no longer in the game, but now Billy Wagner is in to slam the door shut?
    Suck it up cupcake.

  8. #37
    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    And if the pitcher that loaded the bases is no longer in the game, but now Billy Wagner is in to slam the door shut?
    Or if the pitcher is Dennis Eckersley in his prime brought in to finish off a weak hitting Dodger team when up steps an ailing Kirk Gibson. He smacks it deep. I don't believe what I just saw. go crazy people go crazy.




    Or Roy Hobbs goes 0 for 3 until he steps in against Youngberry, a Nebraska farmboy. There's a drive oh no he has broken wonderboy. Pick me out a winner Bobby. Bobby goes for his longest run ever. He waddles back with the Savoy Kid- stays around a while.

    There's another drive- cue music, special lighting effect.
    Fade to Cornfield where Hobbs plays catch with his son who lacking his father's influence never learned to throw a ball properly. *movie version only
    Last edited by klw; 03-20-2007 at 05:29 PM.

  9. #38
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    Re: Art of clutch hitting: Or wait, I think that dead horse just moved

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    Outshined:

    If you read Andy Dolphin's article, he states that singles hitters and middle infielders are generally the best "clutch hitters," not necessarily "the best athletes," much to everyone's surprise. I recommend reading it. (or at least skip to the conclusion and read it)
    I'd maintain these singles hitters and middle infielders are still among the best athletes today. While we look at guys like David Eckstein, Neifi Perez, and pretty much anyone else in that category with some degree of disdain compared to guys like Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols, they still have done something that few people in the world are capable of doing by being able to play baseball professionally. Their performance levels can be looked upon with disdain, but the fact remains that these guys have been playing baseball all their lives and have enough talent to make it this far.

    I could have dedicated myself to baseball with all my heart and soul by hitting the weight room, practicing extra hard, and hell, even taken certain drugs to try and give me an edge. Had I taken that route, there is only an incredibly remote chance that I would have made the majors. In order to make it that far, someone needs to have a certain level of athletic talent, dedication, and health which the vast majority of the population simply does not have.

    Getting to the majors involves a maturation and growth process through gradually greater and greater levels of competition. You need to have the physical and mental tools needed to either match or overcome that level of competition. If you are someone who cracks easily under pressure, this process will almost certainly weed you out. You need to be able to consistently perform at a certain high level if you want to keep advancing; even if you are a scrub middle infielder.

    So, I don't think that study would contradict what I said above. I'd be curious to see how Dolphin defines clutch, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    As to your point that "people overrate it to an insane degree," I counter that there is a whole market devoted to dispelling anything having to do with clutch hitters. So there are clearly people who underrate it to an insane degree. How many BP articles include the phrase, "there is no such thing as a clutch hitter"?? There must be thousands by now. How many articles has Neyer written on this subject???? It's boilerplate material at this point. And there is little substance in any of this material. Hence my comment, "the lack of proof is not proof."

    And frankly, I hold BP and Neyer to a higher standard because they are supposed to be the guys who carry the torch of using knowledge to improve the game. Rather, I see them writing material that supports their own biases, not engaging in quests for the truth.

    Andy Dolphin published his article three years ago, and there has been little more than a murmur in these communities about this issue. The silence is deafening.
    I'll happily agree to the fact that there are a number of people out there who question the existence of clutch and make a profit off of it. I'll also agree that there are less people out there who deny the existence of clutch and make a profit off of it. If you are firmly in the camp that says clutch exists, then you would say that these people underrate clutch to varying degrees.

    However, my point was not directed towards people individually. My point was directed towards the collective attitude towards clutch. In reading the articles of a vast majority of sports writers, in listening to sports radio, and in watching television, there is an overwhelming amount of acceptance of the existence of clutch without anyone questioning its existence. Given how much sports fans pay attention to these things and participate in them, be it through ratings or calling in or whatever, I would say that suggests a large majority of sports fans agree with this particular notion. Look at how much ink has been dedicated to the fact that A-Rod isn't clutch or how David Ortiz is the very definition of clutch. Cripes, how much radio airtime has been spent on people bashing Adam Dunn for not getting clutch hits? How many of these people have even heard of Baseball Prospectus?

    The people who question or deny the existence of clutch constitute a small minority, albeit a slowly growing one. This group does not have anything resembling the size or the voice of the majority.

    That is what I meant by saying that people overrate it to an insane degree.


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