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Thread: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

  1. #1
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    Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    I'm no Bill James, so forgive me if I've stumbled across something totally unremarkable.

    Our offensive numbers are not bad this year at all. However, watching the games, I've felt all season like this team was not getting any "clutch" hits or coming through when needed most.

    But I had no way of backing up this "feeling."

    So, I did a little research. I think I may have found a problem.

    Check out these numbers:

    --The Reds have played 39 games this year decided by 2 runs or less

    --The Reds record in those games is 13-26

    --I am defining "late innings" as 7th innning on. I am including extra innings and factoring in the couple of times we did not bat in the 9th

    --In 18 of those 39 games, the Reds failed to score any runs in the late innings.

    --In only 11 of those 39 games did the Reds score more than one run in the late innings.

    --In those 39 games, the Reds have played (offense) in 131 innings. They have a TOTAL of 35 runs in those innings.

    --This is an average of .27 runs per game over the late innings.

    These are not impressive numbers.

    I used both wins and losses by the way.

    Now, one flaw in this could be the few instances where we were tied in the late innings and wound up scoring a bunch of runs to take it out of the 2 runs or less category.

    But overall, by narrowing it down to games with close final scores, I do believe you get a decent view of some of the broader problems at work here.

    2007 has been a TOTAL team collapse.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    Bringing up the discussion of non-clutch performance....will basically mean having to bring up Dunn at some point....and then the discussion goes south.
    Without a doubt....all players on this team have a problem with runners in scoring position....especially runners on third and less than 2 outs.
    The bullpen...based on the worse track record...would probably negate much of the extra scoring the Reds could have made in the late innings.

  4. #3
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    The Reds have given up a huge amount of 8th inning runs, that skews counting the runs from the offensive side, it's hard to carry water when there is a hole in your bucket.

  5. #4
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    TC--

    Yes, I fear this will become another Dunn debate, but my stats were 100% team based. It appears to be a team-wide problem for sure.

    And no doubt, the bullpen would probably blow whatever leads the offense would provide, however, looking at these 39 box scores, there were several instances where literally 1 or 2 runs over the late innings would have resulted in a win, but we didn't get those runs.

    By NO means did I post this to "blame" the offense for our woes.

    But anyone who looks at the broader offensive numbers and doesn't see a problem, probably isn't digging deep enough.

  6. #5
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    The Reds have given up a huge amount of 8th inning runs, that skews counting the runs from the offensive side, it's hard to carry water when there is a hole in your bucket.
    True, but don't forget...I only used games that wound up being 2 runs or less. None of the games where the pen got blasted and we lost 10-3 were counted.

  7. #6
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    The Reds have given up a huge amount of 8th inning runs, that skews counting the runs from the offensive side, it's hard to carry water when there is a hole in your bucket.
    What does that have to do with what he was saying? The offense hasn't shown up late in close games.

  8. #7
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    I agree that most of this gets blamed on Dunn but the fact of the matter is that the reds do not have any pure contact hitters. Their most professional hitters are either Hatty or Conine and I think Hatty strikes out more than I thought he would. One of my problems with the reds lineup is that Freel, Phillips, Griffey, Dunn, EE, Hamilton, Gonzo, and Ross all strike out a lot. All are not contact hitters. When your lineup consists of guys who strike out as much as the reds do you are not going to have good BA with RISP.

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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    OPS in "close and late" situations in 2007:

    Hatteberg: 1.011
    Javy: .780
    Hopper: .749
    BP: .696
    Hamilton: .675
    KGJ: .613
    Dunn: .608
    Gonzalez: .584
    Freel: .510
    Conine: .411
    EE: .388
    Castro: .364
    Ross: .195

    That ain't good.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  10. #9
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    51 losses
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  11. #10
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Cloninger View Post
    Bringing up the discussion of non-clutch performance....will basically mean having to bring up Dunn at some point....and then the discussion goes south.
    Without a doubt....all players on this team have a problem with runners in scoring position....especially runners on third and less than 2 outs.
    The bullpen...based on the worse track record...would probably negate much of the extra scoring the Reds could have made in the late innings.
    Using runs created as a measure of productivity, Dunn is equally productive with RISP as he is with the bases empty.

    That should keep the discussion from dipping too far south.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  12. #11
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    Did a little more research...

    In 22 of those 39 games, the opponent scored a TOTAL of 4 runs or less for the game.

    In 24 of those 39 games, the opponent scored a TOTAL of 5 runs or less for the game.

    So, in those 39 games, the pitching wasn't always awful.

    This has been a "team" effort.

  13. #12
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    Just curious, but how does that compare to league average? Most teams hit worse in close and late situations because they are often facing "ace" relievers and situationally advantaged platoons.

    "Clutch" might mean simply not sucking against Billy Wagner or Francisco Cordero as much as most guys do.

    Also, let's look at those records:

    Close games: 13-26, .333% (54-108)
    Blowouts: 18-25, .419% (68-94)

    In a small sample size such as these (39 and 43 games respectively), the difference between those records is within the scope of random variation. Furthermore, which of those records do you want?

    This team isn't losing games because it's not "clutch". It's losing games because it's not "good." It's allowing too many runs in every inning. You don't need to score a ton of runs late in the game if you aren't allowing your opponents to. In fact, I would posit that if this team truly is worse in close games, it's due to the bullpen giving up runs, not the offense failing to keep us (or pull) ahead.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  14. #13
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    RedsMan-- I totally agree with you as long as you are saying that the offense isn't "good" either.

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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    Bottom line....when they score a lot...they give up a lot...when the pitching does not give up a lot....they don't score as much.

    They rarely blow anyone out.....forcing JN to overuse the only good relief pitchers he has ....or trying to strecth every inning/pitch from a starter.

    They are a typical losing team....that does all the little things to lose games.

  16. #15
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    Re: Statistical Evidence That Our Offense isn't "clutch?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Edskin View Post
    RedsMan-- I totally agree with you as long as you are saying that the offense isn't "good" either.
    The offense at best is an average offense, and it's certainly not "good" at all. Its team OPS+ for the season is 99 (100 is league average), and the only reason they're currently 4th in the National League in runs is because their home park is a hitter's paradise that's exceptionally friendly to the deep drive.

    The Reds are actually 12th in the National League in road runs per game, and that's all we need to know about how effective this offense truly is. They're 10th in the league in on-base percentage and dead last in doubles. This offense just flat out needs more on-base percentage and more hitters capable of smacking two baggers with regularity (without much drop in home run production either).
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