Regular Articles

Do you believe in "clutch" hitting?  

Whether you believe that clutch hitting is a thing or that it's just a product of small sample size bias is a good debate.  There are certain players who have shown consistent production in the postseason with a good sample size:

David Ortiz career postseason statistics
G      PA     HR    R     RBI    BB%          K%        BABIP    AVG       OBP    SLG
82    357    17    51    60    16.00%    19.90%    0.333    0.295    0.409    0.553

That's pretty solid. Not out of this world, but quite productive.

David Ortiz 2013 postseason:

G    PA    HR    R    RBI    BB%          K%        BABIP     AVG     OBP      SLG
16    68    5    12    13    23.50%    10.30%    0.325    0.353    0.500    0.706

Quite impressive!  Despite having a lower-than-career-average BABIP he hit an absurd .353.  He hit a home run every 7.3 plate appearances, which, to put in perspective, was similar to the HR/PA ratio Chris Davis hit this year during the regular season (7.8%).  His HR per Flyball percentage was at 33% for this postseason though, which means he definitely got a bit lucky (career postseason 21.5% HR/FB).

Photo by Keith Allison, used under creative commons license.
If Ortiz was clutch this year, then what of the rest of the team?  I posit that they went for a glory-or-nothing approach, and it bears out in the stats.
2013 postseason:

Sox up with no runners on? Hit .208 with a .315 OBP, .589 OPS (horrid)
Sox up with runners on? Hit .252 with a .360 OBP, .760 OPS (respectable)
Sox up with bases loaded? Hit .462 with a .412 OBP, 1.489 OPS (incredible).

For comparison's sake, the Cardinals had one less AB with the bases loaded, but hit just .167 with a .200 OBP and .369 OPS.

Maybe they need to look into adding more players with "clutchiness" this offseason?