Clutch Pitching - Fantasy Baseball Cafe 2014 Fantasy Baseball Cafe
100% Deposit Bonus for Cafe Members!

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Clutch Pitching

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

Clutch Pitching

Postby BronXBombers51 » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:37 am

I've read up alot on clutch hitting and I am of the opinion that it does not exist over time. However, I haven't seen any studies on pitching, or pitchers who are percieved to step up their performance in big games. I looked at some numbers at I looked at a few pitchers who are percieved to step up their game in the postseason...Curt Schilling, John Smoltz and Orlando Hernandez.

-In 18 Major League seasons, Curt Schilling has a career 3.40 ERA, with a 1.126 WHIP, and 8.77 K/9.
-In 9 career postseason series, Curt Schilling has a career 2.06 ERA, with a .974 WHIP, and 8.59 K/9.

-In 17 Major League seasons, John Smoltz has a career 3.26 ERA, with a 1.167 WHIP, and 7.89 K/9.
-In 24 career postseason series, John Smoltz has a career 2.66 ERA, with a 1.140 WHIP, and 8.48 K/9.

-In 7 Major League seasons, Orlando Hernandez has a 4.11 ERA, with a 1.265 WHIP, and 7.12 K/9.
-In 15 career postseason series, Orlando Hernandez has a career 2.55 ERA, a 1.245 WHIP, and 9.08 K/9.

It would appear that these pitchers have raised their game in the postseason. I tried to pick pitchers who had a pretty good amount of postseason experience under their belts, and are considered good (not great) pitchers for their careers.

Are there any studies that could either support or refute the numbers that I posted? Does anyone have a suggestion for a good pitcher that is deemed a 'choker' or a guy who can't win a big game? I tried but could not think of many.

Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Mock(ing) Drafter
Posts: 11949
(Past Year: 58)
Joined: 8 Apr 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby cordscords » Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:18 pm

While every inning in a playoff game should hold more importance than it would in a regular season game, I just don't think that starters find themselves in clutch situations. In a regular season game if a starter goes 6 innings and gives up 2 runs and gets the win, was he clutch? But since the opportunity to pitch a good game is narrowed down from 33 starts to 1 or 2 starts in a series, I don't think it's fair to mark a guy down as somebody who cant pitch in a big game.

Example: Roy Oswalt last year has a quality start in the NLDS (7.1, 3 ER), and 2 great starts in the NLCS (14 IP, 2 ER). Yet in the WS he makes 1 start and goes 6 innings giving up 5 earned. Does that mean Oswalt chokes when it really comes down to big stages? Or was it mearly that he wasnt that good that day? After awhile you are prone to a bad start.

That's why I don't view starters as guys who are clutch. I believe that batters and closers are.
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Mock(ing) Drafter
Posts: 4343
(Past Year: 20)
Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby teddy ballgame » Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:54 pm

I think for pitching, clutch more comes down to one pitch, and one situation. Even with that however, you can just say I made one bad pitch and the clutch thing goes down the drain. It would be very tough to determine a clutch pitcher because of how many variables there are per every pitch. With that said, I do think there are "big game pitchers" where you are confident giving them the ball in a game 7 situation. Guys like this would be the ones you mentioned, David Wells, and even maybe Derek Lowe. He did win all of the deciding games in the '04 postseason for the Sox. That can't be ignored.
teddy ballgame
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
CafeholicCafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeWeb SupporterPick 3 Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 11485
Joined: 7 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Beantown

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:15 pm

There have been a few hints about clutch pitching, but I have not seen a good study. I would think you'd look more at game situations (how does a pitcher do in high leverage situations) than at pitching in a particular game.
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy Expert
Posts: 5516
Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Happy Valley

Postby Matthias » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:26 pm

Those are interesting #s, Bronx.

One thing I'd consider in looking at them, though, is that it's because those pitchers have such great #s that they're considered clutch pitchers. Basically, they performed well in the post-season, they got labeled clutch, and then you went back at who was considered clutch and saw that they had good post-season #s. Which has an obvious causation problem. It's the same thing as, a few years ago, a buddy of mine told me that the year Johnny Chan won the World Series of Poker who faced 35 instances where he was all-in on about a 50/50 probability (an underpair vs. two higher cards is about 52/48). And he won each of those 35 coin flip hands. And my friend was a bit amazed. My attitude is, someone has to win those coin flips, and if Johnny Chan didn't, then he wouldn't have won, and you wouldn't be looking back at his tournament.

Not to dampen the enquiry at the general level. Just throwing in a caveat of what you've seen so far.
General Manager
General Manager

Posts: 4860
Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby Havok1517 » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:58 pm

Beckett was clutch during the Marline WS title run. It made him a lot of money too.
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
CafeholicCafe Writer
Posts: 8503
(Past Year: 120)
Joined: 8 Mar 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby ARCH » Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:58 pm

It may be my imagination but Mike Mussina always pitches well when the Yankees need him to. Several times this season he has pitched great after the Yankees have lost 2 or 3 in a row and he steps up in the post season when they need a big game out of him also.
College Coach
College Coach

User avatar

Posts: 153
Joined: 9 Apr 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Sleepers Rankings Leagues

Today's Games
Thursday, Jul. 24
(All times are EST, weather icons show forecast for game time)

Boston at Toronto
(12:37 pm)
Texas at NY Yankees
(1:05 pm)
San Francisco at Philadelphia
(1:05 pm)
Houston at Oakland
(3:35 pm)
Miami at Atlanta
(7:10 pm)
San Diego at Chi Cubs
(8:05 pm)
Cleveland at Kansas City
(8:10 pm)
NY Mets at Milwaukee
(8:10 pm)
Chi White Sox at Minnesota
(8:10 pm)
Detroit at LA Angels
(10:05 pm)
Baltimore at Seattle
(10:10 pm)

  • Fantasy Baseball
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact