Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from NUSoxFan. Show NUSoxFan's posts

    Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    So pretty much my question to you all is, do you believe that a player can be a "clutch" player? That certain players better feed off high pressure, game on the line situations and are more likely to get hits in these situations? Or is clutch just a by-product given by a players better total ability?

    I'm asking this after last night's game because Carl Crawford, despite struggle most of the season, has a fair amount of walk off or go ahead in late inning scenerios runs. There was also that Angels game that he helped spark a rally to send us into extras, which is one of the few games I feel like we truly lost due to mismanagement.

    "Clutch" is a one of the selling points of CC going into the season (at least it was to me). However, clutch is typically an attribute hushed by statisticians, normally attributing the more late-inning hits due to better overall hitting ability. However, even with CC's early year struggles, he still came up pretty big in a lot of late inning scenerios (the only glaring non-clutch AB I remember was the DP in Cleveland).

    Does clutch exist?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    I love this question.  We had a thread on it last year I think.  The position of the stats guys like redsoxfan791 is that there are clutch plays, but not clutch players.  That is supported by things like the inconsistent postseason numbers of legendary clutch performers like Papi and Jeter.

    I found 3 players who had very significant differences between their career regular season and postseason numbers.

    Clutch - Curt Schilling
    Clutch - Dave Henderson
    Not Clutch - Jeff Bagwell

    The stats guys will still say this is based on small samples, though.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from NUSoxFan. Show NUSoxFan's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    It is interesting to see how, over enough time, statistics tend to even out in the playoffs (David Ortiz has a Career Batting Average of .282, his playoffs Career BA is .283), however I don't know if you can define the entire playoff as a clutch situation. There are even times in the playoffs that a home run won't be clutch. The Red Sox - Yankees '04 Game Three comes to mind. That game was such a blowout, that it's tough to say the players still scoring runs after the 12th run was really "clutch".
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    A clutch player simply is a player that does not lose composure in high pressure situations.

    Some players do great things in big games , postseason or overtime ( extra innings) situations.

    The only way to measure clutch is with your eyes, numbers rarely prove clutch or not.

    Examples of clutch players in history are Terry O'Reilly, Joe Namath and Ron Darling.

    O'Reilly scored 3 overtime playoff goals ( and he wasn't considered a "goal scorer"), Namath had one chance to be "super" and he not only was but "upped" the odds of failure by predicting he would win, thus putting even more pressure on himself. Darling pitched awesome in the 1986 World Series when his more famous and more hyped partner , Dwight Gooden faltered and was merely human.

    This is clutch. Stats do not really measure it. But if you witnessed it you know what "clutch" means and that it does exist.

    Clutch is Bernie Parent in the 1974 Stanley Cup finals beating a heavily favored Boston Bruins team with a rag tag bunch of mostly muckers and brawlers as his teammates.

    Clutch is Tom Brady subbing for Drew Bledsoe and beating  the hyped-up Kurt Warner and a heavily favored St. Louis football team.

    Clutch is Kirk Gibson hitting a homerun off of Dennis Eckersley in a world Series game when he was in severe pain and could barely walk.

    Clutch exists, regardless of what the numbers freaks say.

    I have seen "clutch" many times.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from dgalehouse. Show dgalehouse's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    " Clutch" is the opposite of " choke. " A clutch performer is one who is not adversely affected by pressure situations. It is most easily observed in isolated situations , such as a place kicker lining up for a last second field goal with the game on the line or a basketball player shooting free throws in the same type of situation. Clutch absolutely exists. And so does choke.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    But, can a "clutch player" also "choke" at some point?

    Yes, it is inevitable.

    Once you get the reputation as a clutch player , people expect it all the time. And then the one time you are not "clutch" , you are a "choker."

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?:
    [QUOTE]" Clutch" is the opposite of " choke. " A clutch performer is one who is not adversely affected by pressure situations. It is most easily observed in isolated situations , such as a place kicker lining up for a last second field goal with the game on the line or a basketball player shooting free throws in the same type of situation. Clutch absolutely exists. And so does choke.
    Posted by dgalehouse[/QUOTE]
     Well said! The best analogy I have is that some guys can sink a 3-4 foot putt under intense pressure on the back nine on Sunday and others cannot. Some guys can deliver often with men-on-base and others can only seem to hit with the bases empty. Some pitchers can throw strikes in tense, late-game situations and others can't come within a foot of the plate. Clutch & choke will always exist---it's just part of human nature.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    There are clutch plays, but not clutch players.

    Sounds like 791 for sure. Aren't clutch plays made by players? Would that not make them clutch players?  It's more a label that is either earned or not.

    I suggest 791 opens up a window of fresh air - not one fixated with numbers.
    Read Zilla'spost again and again. Think about Yaz and Papi.

    Then draw comparisons of equal game importance. "Clutch players" will also fail, but that doesn't mean they didn't measure up in the first place. Reputations are usually earned, one way or the other...
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from cpjohn1. Show cpjohn1's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    Yes, definitely.  Schilling comes to mind when I think clutch.  Also, the 2004 David Ortiz - boy was that an incredible year!  Crawford is looking like that type of player also.  Looks like he just had to get comfortable in Boston. 

    Where are those people who called Crawford a bust and were calling him Crawfish?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    Definitely yes.  I can't see how any two two people can have the same emotional component in a clutch situations.  In the stuff I'm better at, I can go in thinking I have no chance of losing.  And there are times in other activities that I can't wait for something to be over.  I remember the game a few years back at Fenway when Jeter hit the HR in the 9th.  I remember thinking on every pitch, as good a hitter as ARod was back then, I'd rather be pitching to him than to Jeter.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from fizsh. Show fizsh's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    I'm with all of you, clutch is basically someone who does what he normally does in a pressure situation.  You see clutch in the fact that others fold in the same situation.  The free throws analogy is the best example.  It is harder to measure in baseball because a batter, even doing what he normally does, is going to fail 1 in 3 times.  And maybe it was the pitcher who was clutch.  Maybe sometimes it isn't the batter who was clutch but the pitcher who choked.  But then, maybe the pitcher could choke and throw a hanging curveball down the middle, but the batter chokes by missing it.  And so on.  So, yes, it exists.  It is just hard to measure it except, like Zilla says, with your eyes. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    I always thought Mike Lowell was clutch.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?:
    [QUOTE]But, can a "clutch player" also "choke" at some point? Yes, it is inevitable. Once you get the reputation as a clutch player , people expect it all the time. And then the one time you are not "clutch" , you are a "choker."
    Posted by ZILLAGOD[/QUOTE]

    That's true. However, just because you don't come through in the clutch doesn't mean you choked. There certainly are instances where you can say the player choked. Most times that's in a sport where the opposition can't affect what you do -- golf, shooting free throws in basketball, for example.

    It's trickier when there's another person involved. For example in tennis, if a player makes a dramatic comeback, was he clutch or did the other player choke. Often it's both. If the player who loses makes a lot of unforced errors, then yeah, he choked. If the other player simply makes a lot of great shots, then he was more clutch than the other player choking.

    Here's a specific case. Yaz has great stats in clutch situations -- playoffs, key games in pennant runs, etc. In the 1978 playoff game, he was involved in three of the four runs Boston scored, so he was clutch in that game.

    But ... he made the last out with a runner on base with the chance to at least tie the score. Yet he popped up. Did he choke? No. Gossage was simply better.

    I get sick and tired after every big game where instead of discussing how good the winning team was and giving credit there, the discussion seems to always start -- Who's to blame? Too many would rather label someone a choker instead of giving credit to the winner.

    Sometimes clutch is simply being lucky, but I'd rather call it clutch than play the blame game all the time.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    The players that we typically think of as clutch players are very good players to begin with.  Are they really being clutch when the game is on the line, or are they just doing what they typically do?

    As far as a so-so player coming up big in a clutch situation, would that not be considered a clutch play instead of a clutch player, as Redsoxfan791 stated?  Is there any evidence of a so-so player repeatedly outperforming his career norm in a clutch situation?

    To say that there are players who are clutch implies that a player can willingly raise his BA 50 or 100 points when the game is on the line.

    There are some players that I have always thought of as clutch, Jeter being one that immediately comes to mind.  But, was he really being clutch in key situations, or was he just being the typical good hitter that he always was?
     
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    Here are 2 guys with big differences between regular season and postseason, one arguably clutch, one arguably not clutch.

    Schilling
    Reg season
    ERA 3.46
    WHIP 1.14

    Postseason (133.1 innings) 
    W-L 11-2
    ERA 2.23
    WHIP .97

    Bagwell 
    Reg season
    OPS .948
    HR per 162 games 34

    Postseason (129 plate appearances) 
    OPS .685
    HR 2
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    It certainly seems like some professional players "rise to the top" when the stakes get higher. It's tough to know for sure with sample sizes usually so small. Statistically speaking, one should expect some wide variations from player's seasonal "norms" in samples sizes as small as many players post-season numbers.

    Plus, is it more "clutch" to hit a winning ninth inning HR when your team is 2 games behind the playoffs with 6 to play of a 3rd inning HR in a 10-0 playoff game?

    I always used to marvel at Eddie Murray of the O's. He always seemed to hit is HRs only with men on base. 8th inning three run jobs seemed to be his specialty. I looked up his numbers and he hit an HR 5.6% of the time with 2-3 men on base and 4.8% with 1 or more men on base as compared to 4.2% with no men on. These sample sizes were between 1,800 and over 5,400 ABs.

    HR in 5.2% of "late & close" ABs
    HR in 4.1% of "high leverage" situations

    It's hard to tell if it was just in my mind or if he was really a "clutch guy".
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxPatsCelts1988. Show SoxPatsCelts1988's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    Yes clutch exists especially when baseball requires a lot of focus and zoning in.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from carnie. Show carnie's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    I believe there definitely players one could define as clutch. Just to name a few Red Sox from this era; Schilling, Beckett, Big Papi, Lowell and it seems Carl Crawford.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from losmediasrojas. Show losmediasrojas's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?:
    [QUOTE]It certainly seems like some professional players "rise to the top" when the stakes get higher. It's tough to know for sure with sample sizes usually so small. Statistically speaking, one should expect some wide variations from player's seasonal "norms" in samples sizes as small as many players post-season numbers. Plus, is it more "clutch" to hit a winning ninth inning HR when your team is 2 games behind the playoffs with 6 to play of a 3rd inning HR in a 10-0 playoff game? I always used to marvel at Eddie Murray of the O's. He always seemed to hit is HRs only with men on base. 8th inning three run jobs seemed to be his specialty. I looked up his numbers and he hit an HR 5.6% of the time with 2-3 men on base and 4.8% with 1 or more men on base as compared to 4.2% with no men on. These sample sizes were between 1,800 and over 5,400 ABs. HR in 5.2% of "late & close" ABs HR in 4.1% of "high leverage" situations It's hard to tell if it was just in my mind or if he was really a "clutch guy".
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    I remember hearing on a radio show that Eddie Murray used to practice hitting scratch hits in batting practice.  His rationale was that when facing a tough pitcher in a critical game situation, he wasn't likely to receive a pitch he could get the fat part of the bat on.  I'm not sure how this resulted in him hitting more home runs in those situations, but apparently he did things to mentally prepare himself for those situations. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from losmediasrojas. Show losmediasrojas's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent? : That's true. However, just because you don't come through in the clutch doesn't mean you choked. There certainly are instances where you can say the player choked. Most times that's in a sport where the opposition can't affect what you do -- golf, shooting free throws in basketball, for example. It's trickier when there's another person involved. For example in tennis, if a player makes a dramatic comeback, was he clutch or did the other player choke. Often it's both. If the player who loses makes a lot of unforced errors, then yeah, he choked. If the other player simply makes a lot of great shots, then he was more clutch than the other player choking. Here's a specific case. Yaz has great stats in clutch situations -- playoffs, key games in pennant runs, etc. In the 1978 playoff game, he was involved in three of the four runs Boston scored, so he was clutch in that game. But ... he made the last out with a runner on base with the chance to at least tie the score. Yet he popped up. Did he choke? No. Gossage was simply better. I get sick and tired after every big game where instead of discussing how good the winning team was and giving credit there, the discussion seems to always start -- Who's to blame? Too many would rather label someone a choker instead of giving credit to the winner. Sometimes clutch is simply being lucky, but I'd rather call it clutch than play the blame game all the time.
    Posted by royf19[/QUOTE]

    Great post and point, Roy.  One of the problems (among many) with measuring clutch is that the situational variables change in that the hitter is more likely to be facing a better pitcher as compared to the norm.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from billsrul. Show billsrul's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent? : Great post and point, Roy.  One of the problems (among many) with measuring clutch is that the situational variables change in that the hitter is more likely to be facing a better pitcher as compared to the norm.
    Posted by losmediasrojas[/QUOTE]


    This is why it's nearly impossible to prove who's "wrong" and "right" in this argument.  There are simply too many variables involved and not enough equations (sample sizes) to solve.....
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    Bill: The problem with that is the term "prove". I don't see this place as a "proving ground".
    That generally involves statistics, and although very useful, they are also flawed. So, the premise of "proof" is flawed to begin with.

    Clutch is a frame of mind.
    It means not choking down.
    It means not letting the situation take you outside UR game.
    It means taking UR game to another level for some. The degree of concentration is affected.

    Numbers can sway this debate either way, which is why they aren't a strong measuring stick in this instance. And as I mentioned earlier, clutch is a label that is often earned...for good reason.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from losmediasrojas. Show losmediasrojas's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?:
    [QUOTE]But, can a "clutch player" also "choke" at some point? Yes, it is inevitable. Once you get the reputation as a clutch player , people expect it all the time. And then the one time you are not "clutch" , you are a "choker."
    Posted by ZILLAGOD[/QUOTE]

    Clutch and choke are car parts.  That might be a good name for a comedy team (perhaps a replacement duo for Click and Clack on "Car Talk").  

    The Nile is also a river in Sudan. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from billsrul. Show billsrul's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?:
    [QUOTE]Bill : The problem with that is the term "prove". I don't see this place as a "proving ground". That generally involves statistics, and although very useful, they are also flawed. So, the premise of "proof" is flawed to begin with. Clutch is a frame of mind. It means not choking down. It means not letting the situation take you outside UR game. It means taking UR game to another level for some. The degree of concentration is affected. Numbers can sway this debate either way, which is why they aren't a strong measuring stick in this instance. And as I mentioned earlier,  clutch is a label that is often earned...for good reason.
    Posted by harness[/QUOTE]

    So if I say that clutch isn't real, or that if it is real, it's impossible to determine who is clutch and who isn't, then you'd disagree with me but we'd just have to disagree?  Fair enough; that's more or less what I was saying, that there are people on each end of this debate and they can yell and scream at each other all they want but there'll still be disagreement.  It's kind of like religion...
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from dgalehouse. Show dgalehouse's posts

    Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?

    No one is so clutch that they can succeed in every situation. That is ridiculous. The point is; a clutch performer is one who does not consistently under achieve in pressure situations. Yaz did not "choke " against Gossage. He got the bat on the ball against a great pitcher. If he had blooped it over third, he would have been a hero. The point is that Yaz demonstrated, over his career , that he could handle pressure situations.  That is the distinction. A hard hit ground ball can find a hole or it can be a rally killing double play. If you look at the big picture, it is clear that some people can handle pressure situations , and some cannot. That is the basic definition of " clutch ." It is very real. Some people just take delight in being contrarians.  You look foolish when you attempt to deny the obvious.
     

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