The Yanks are so unclutch

Should Joba return?
Matsui to start rehab assignment Thursday

SG at RYLW runs the numbers — a lot of numbers — and finds that the Yanks are the most unclutchiest team in baseball this year. But as he writes, “I’m guessing you didn’t need a blog entry to know that though.”

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Should Joba return?
Matsui to start rehab assignment Thursday
  • CB

    This analysis was based on the “clutch” statistic maintained by the Hard Ball Times based on a stat developed by Bill James. That statistic is really a measure of how hitters hit in situations with different game situations. It’s not really a true measure of being “clutch” (if you could even come up with a generally agreed upon definition for clutch and a translation into numbers). SG does a nice job of going over the limitations in the comments.

    One of the interesting thing about the article was the additional analyses SG did on how “clutch” the teams from 2000 – 2007 were by that same statistic:

    Year Clutch
    2004 -14.9
    2005 -2.7
    2006 15.2
    2007 -10.9

    Year Clutch
    2000 -4.6
    2001 -12.6
    2002 22.2
    2003 -18.1

    So in 2000, the last year they won the world series the yankees were less “clutch” than the average team. Same thing for 2001 and 2003 when they made the series. 2002 and 2006 they were well above average in terms of being “clutch.”

    Shows the limitations of trying to measure being clutch even if you’re Bill James and the hard ball times.

    • Adam

      i look at clutch as being useful strictly when looking at past statistics. there is little evidence that team or player that was clutch, will be clutch in the future. maybe the clutch teams from 2002 and 2006 were not as good as their record indicated due to their having been clutch, so they faltered in the playoffs. conversely, maybe the 2001 and 2003 teams were better than their record let on, so did well in the playoffs.

  • Adam

    unclutch is another way of saying unlucky, so while it is excruciatingly painful to watch this team underachieve, there is little reason why they can’t turn some of their offensive woes around this year and next.

  • freepass

    They are not unlucky, sometimes you step in shit, sometimes you don’t. It all comes out in the end. Based on the Pythagorean, they are exactly where you would expect, they just don’t score enough runs.