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The Bleacher Bums: April 6, 2006 Archive

Riding the clutch

Posted at 11:37 AM on April 6, 2006 by Ben Tesch

Nate Silver breaks down clutch hitting in another excerpt from the "Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game is Wrong" book:

Baseball is a game that is won by exploiting small advantages over the long haul. Certainly clutch hitting may exist in the classic sense of the term, but a lot of what we think of as clutch hitting may really be situational hitting. In some sense, the answer to the question of who the best clutch hitters are is that they're usually just the best hitters, period.

It is interesting to see that there are three players in the top 10 of the clutch hitters list that were drafted by the Twins: Kent Hrbek (4th), Matt Lawton (5th), and Kirby Puckett (9th). Only 10 of the players in the top 25 are currently playing, and no two of them are on the same team. Seems like you could work some Billy Beane magic and get all the great clutch hitters on the same team and magically win every game, no?

It Figures.

Posted at 2:49 PM on April 6, 2006 by Josh Lee (2 Comments)

I should've known that the day a relative unexpectedly drops into town would be the day that the Twins start smacking the ball around like crazy people. While I was scrambling to make up the guest bed and figure out where to go for dinner, Minnesota was putting together a box score that I still can't believe is for real: 13 runs on 16 hits? Another homer by Shannon "Forget About Last Year" Stewart? A homer by Luis "I Can't Believe They Kept Me Up in the Majors" Rodriguez? A grand slam by Torii "Too Pretty" Hunter? I am weeping at the thought of what I missed. At least Handsome Brad stuck to his normal warmup routine; if I had missed a first inning without a multiple-run mini-meltdown by Radke, then I'd really be kicking myself.

Next time I have houseguests, I'm going to ignore any and all requests to go out for food or to catch up on family news. Hospitality be darned, we're going to order pizza and huddle around the radio, just in case another freak occurrence like this happens again.

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More on being clutch

Posted at 5:25 PM on April 6, 2006 by Ben Tesch

Tom Benjamin has an interesting post about clutch players in hockey. It doesn't have much to do with baseball, but has an interesting thought:

Calling someone a clutch player is really damning him with faint praise. If he can elevate his game at critical moments, why doesn't he keep it elevated all the time? Isn't every save in some sense a key one? Is goofing up when the game is not on the line really any better than blowing it when the chips are down?

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