Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

When the Situation Calls for Hits, Well ...

The Nationals are seven games into this eight-game beer/sausage/pierogi road trip, which included four games in Milwaukee, four more in Pittsburgh. This has corresponded, to the delight of hitting coach Rick Eckstein, with a long-awaited hitting resurgence. Finally, after two months of flickering production, the lineup is back at it, and the proven hitters are hitting as they should be. (Ryan Zimmerman is 11-for-25, .440, with three homers on this road trip. Cristian Guzman, all but given last rites in the No. 6 hole, has gone 11-for-27, .407, on this road trip while batting No. 2.)

So, since hitting the road for Miller Park, the Nats have put together a pretty steady stretch. In the last seven games, they've gotten, in order, 13, 12, 11, 5, 10, 12 and 9 hits. Washington is batting .299 in that period ... and slugging .485.

So why is this team only 3-4 on this trip? Well, much of it has to do with pitching. But ask those who compose the Nats' lineup about the matter, and you hear that familiar phrase -- "situational hitting."

Here's the glossary definition for that one: When we need hits, we don't get them.

In an 11-6 loss on Saturday, for instance, Washington left 12 on base. (Pittsburgh left two.) Earlier, in a 7-5 loss on July 28, Washington left 11 on base. (Milwaukee left five.) But OK, I wondered: Is the situational hitting lament legit, or just a product of selective memory -- dwelling on the oh-so-close failures that aren't so unordinary?

I consulted the stats.

Never did I expect such an emphatic confirmation: Few teams are worse in baseball at clutch hitting ... and perhaps no team suffers a greater dropoff as situations intensify.

First of all, here's some perspective. If you compile the batting averages of every player on every team, you come out with a .261 figure. That's the 2009 MLB average. And it doesn't fluctuate much based on the situation. With nobody on, the MLB average is .258. With nobody on and none out, it's .262. With runners in scoring position, it's .261. And so on.

Now the Nats. As a team, they are batting .265, 11th-best in baseball. But look at how their averages vary based on situation.

With none on: .271
With none on and none out: .286.
With runners on: .257
With runners in scoring position: .248
With runners in scoring position and two outs: .215

Here's the most telling way to frame matters: With nobody on base and no outs, the Nats are the third-best hitting team in baseball. With runners in scoring position and two outs, they're 27th. I know some dismiss the importance of batting average, but I'm just simplifying what almost every other stat backs up. Look at slugging percentage and you have a similar picture. The Nats are 12th overall (.436) with none on and none out; second-worst (.321) with runners in scoring position.

The hitting decline doesn't just come for Washington as the situation changes. It also comes as the game deepens and becomes close. Washington is hitting .275 in innings 1-6 this year, .243 after that. Statspass.com, the bible for baseball numbers, has a statistic called "close and late" -- situations in the seventh inning or later with the batting team ahead by one run, tied, or with the tying run on base, at bat or on deck. In these scenarios, the Nats' offensive figures are .223/.316/.330. That .223 average is 27th-best in baseball. That .330 slugging percentage is 28th.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 3, 2009; 9:18 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A 5-3 Win, Helped by a 6-4 Putout
Next: Willingham Named NL Co-Player of the Week

Comments

While the lack of situational hitting is a concern the biggest shock for me is the fact that in the last 9 games thay have committed just one error. Keep that up and the wins will come!

Posted by: sec218 | August 3, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Great stuff, Chico, and it confirms what we're seeing. I think one problem is that our hitters, who are very good at extending the count where a walk is a likely outcome, don't become more aggressive in these circumstances.

Rob Dibble made this point sometime over the weekend when Dunn struck out looking (I believe) on a close pitch with runners on base. Bob Carpenter lamented the bad call but Dibble said, "You've got to be swinging there. You can't just look for a walk."

I know there's a fine line where if you get too aggressive, you end up swinging at bad pitches, but until this team's hitters find a happy medium, they're going to be a mediocre offensive team.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 3, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Can they just put up consistently runs in games where the starting pitching is consistent.

Friday was a huge letdown with John Lannan as he was looking aces.

Balester, although he didn't get the W, had good control for most the game on Sunday.

Jim Riggleman has done a good job in moving his relievers in and out in good matchup situations.

Now if Jim can stay away from having the Mendoza twins back-to-back then the lineup can work. What starting pitcher wants to look at his lineup to see Kearns and Belliard together.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 3, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to see where GIDPs figure into this (since a DP is worse than a K). I suspect it would fall right into line.

This tell me opposing pitchers aren't afraid to challenge this lineup (thus the high leadoff %%) and save their "good stuff" for situations, and these otherwise good hitters are not making the corresponding adjustment.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Chico, this is excellent info. Definitely confirms what I've been seeing. I notice that batters don't change their approach much -- moving runners to 3rd, making sure to make contact (not that anyone chokes up anymore with 2 strikes, but at least mental change).

We have much lamented the "cruise control" that happens after the 4th or 5th inning (would be interesting to see how many games where 4 or more 0s on the board of last 5 innings). Before, I thought it had to do with a self-fulfilling prophesy of the bullpen exploding (or imploding).

You think the lack of situational hitting has been evident on this road trip? I think it's been better than the rest of the season, sadly. Games against the Marlins and other NL East teams have got to be the worst!

And, perhaps a huge reason for the Nats "success" this year against the NL West: 3 runs will often be enough for the W.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 3, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Any truth to the rumor that Manny Acta is hard at work writing a self-help book called "Situational Hitting for (Wax) Dummies"?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

wow, that's really a telling stat. Anybody have a clue on how to cure the lack of clutch hitting? What does Eckstein have to say on the subject? Do the Nats not have good at bat plans with runners on? Can we fix this?

Posted by: gengreen17 | August 3, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Indeed. Particularly if you're Adam Dunn. It's been said before, plenty, but he's not paid to walk with a runner on third and less than 2 outs. Some guys get too aggressive and swing at stuff they can't hit with a broom, but power hitters--4-5-6 guys like Dunn--are trading strikeouts for home runs and RBI. Look at Vlad: he knows exactly where the strike zone is, he just doesn't care.

********
"You've got to be swinging there. You can't just look for a walk."

I know there's a fine line where if you get too aggressive, you end up swinging at bad pitches, but until this team's hitters find a happy medium, they're going to be a mediocre offensive team.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 3, 2009 9:57 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Sec3 - was going to ask that too. Esp GiDP with runner on 2nd or 3rd and 1 out as well...

Totally agree that pitchers aren't afraid of our lineup with bases empty, but our guys need to adjust accordingly. Lots of RiSP walks from our RBI guys (could be worse). These are the guys paid to bring the ducks in -- not push it down to Bard/Harris/Gonzo (Kearns/Belly!)

Posted by: mo_dc | August 3, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

First Base: Am I the only one who thinks Elijah Dukes deserves some consideration and practice time there?

Posted by: joe2chase | August 3, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Well, there you've answered your own question. Again, not news, but these guys do not appear to have a plan in the batters box beyond "see the ball, hit the ball".

**********
Do the Nats not have good at bat plans with runners on? Can we fix this?
Posted by: gengreen17 | August 3, 2009 10:10 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Joe2, yes, pretty much. Too good an arm to waste at first.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

And this may be getting too complicated, but I'd bet Willingham is an exception to this since he began starting regularly.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Chico - My question is, have you seen a difference in defensive positioning after the Dukes/Dunn re-alignment?

With Dunn moving to 1B and Willingham in LF with slightly better defensive abilities than the former, you have Dukes who can definitely handle RF, so does Willingham play closer to the LF line where he has had trouble in the past and allow Nyjer to more freely patrol Left CF?

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 3, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Thaks for doing the number crunching this confirms what I see on TV and at the ballpark. Eckstein needs to emphasize situational hitting when talking with our hitters not just mechanics of hitting. It sems too often our hitters appear not to be aware of the situation, when a pitcher has thrown 1 strike and 8 balls to the last two batters you do not swing at the first pitch!

Posted by: markfd | August 3, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

In fact, I bet the numbers could prove or disprove The Dibble Maxim: good hitters need to be swinging in certain RISP situations, rather than working a walk (statheads--a little help here?) I'm thinking, say, Guzman on third, one out, Dunn up--yes, Willingham is next, but with Dunn on first, a ground ball that would have scored a run with first open now just ends the inning, so Josh's options just got smaller, not greater. But I could be wrong--the numbers would prove or disprove that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Finally, some proof of what we've been seeing all year. Good work, Chico.

By the way, judging by the picture today in the post, Dukes seems to be fitting in nicely. I hope people would accept Dukes as the future right fielder, because I certainly think he is.

And I happen to think an outfield of Willingham, Morgan and Dukes is pretty solid. Especially if Harris sticks around. Any team would be happy to have him.

Posted by: natsfan111 | August 3, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

One comment on the Dukes-Utley juxtaposition.

Dukes was committing a dirty play, made less dirty because every second baseman everywhere knows to watch out for a runner coming to second trying to break a double play up to help out his teammate. An expected dirty play.

Utley was committing a dirty play in an entirely unexpected manner. When a runner is coming home you expect him to run hard into you in an effort to get to the plate. You don't expect him to launch himself, head-first, on a trajectory that will bring his entire body over the plate, in an effort to hurt you, so that he can then turn around and go back and tag the plate to help out himself.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Chico - Thanks - finally some math to confirm what we've seen all year. Now, please, for extra credit, tell us the data on Dunn, Zimmerman, and Johnson and get back to us? I think we'll figure out why we couldn't get a high enough price for Dunn to move him.

Posted by: natslifer | August 3, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Natslifer --
I think you'll see Zimm with GiDP (often with both NJ and Guz on) will be high and his situational hitting, will be lower than expected.

NJ is an interesting story. Seemed to me nearly all his hits were with bases empty. He'll be getting lots of great pitches to see batting ahead of Hanley -- wouldn't be surprised to see him hit close to .400 the final 2 months! Marlins would say they get a steal for rent-a-Nick. Hopefully that doesn't apply for 3 games in Nats Ark this week.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 3, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

That should improve now that Nick Johnson is gone. His .300 average was an anemic joke cause he never hit with men on base.

Posted by: larrypalma | August 3, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"Hopefully that doesn't apply for 3 games in Nats Ark this week."

What, are you afraid the Marlins might sweep the Nats now that they have Nick Johnson?

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"That should improve now that Nick Johnson is gone. His .300 average was an anemic joke cause he never hit with men on base."

If only there were a place to find out if Nick Johnson's hitting with men on base was an anemic joke!

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=johnsni01&year=2009&t=b#bases

Men-on .303
RISP .295

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Not to be a nitpicker, but is "situational hitting" synonymous with "clutch hitting"? I thought situational hitting included hitting behind the runner on second to get him to third, hitting a sacrifice fly, laying down an successful sacrifice bunt, and even drawing a walk to load the bases with the meat of the order coming up, or taking pitches as a leadoff hitter to let the team see the pitcher's stuff or with a speedy guy on first to let him steal. Yes, the Nats are terrible clutch hitters, but they also can't seem to perform these basic baseball skills with any consistency.

Willingham has definitely improved as clutch hitter, but for awhile he was the amazingly bad -- all his homers were solos and his batting average with RISP was terrible.

As for Dunn, swinging at pitches that he thinks are out of the strike zone is just not in his DNA. I think I heard or read that his high school coach used to bat him leadoff so he would get some strikes to hit. It's some kind of amazing eye/brain/wrist coordination that he just can't overcome. Not something I'd want to mess with at this stage of his career.

Posted by: Section222 | August 3, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

for extra credit, tell us the data on Dunn, Zimmerman, and Johnson and get back to us? I think we'll figure out why we couldn't get a high enough price for Dunn to move him.

Posted by: natslifer | August 3, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

___

Not too sure about this; at least for Dunn. See the #s:

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Man on 3rd, < 2 outs 33 20 12 8 1 0 3 22 9 7 0 0 .400 .548 .900 1.448

Posted by: cdstej | August 3, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree that this is great math to confirm what we have seen all year.

I continue to believe the problem is Rick Eckstein. He may be a whiz at analyzing video of last year's swing and teaching swing mechanics but I don't think he knows beans about how those mechanics translate into an actual game. After all, he never played major league (or minor league) baseball.

Dmitri Young is done as a player. He was a great situational hitter. Bring him in as some kind of assistant coach or something so he can help this situation.

Posted by: longhorn64 | August 3, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

'Not to be a nitpicker, but is "situational hitting" synonymous with "clutch hitting"?'

No. But clutch is a situation. Clutch hitting is always situational, but situational hitting is not always clutch.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Fair enough @506. I can imagine the explanatory Venn Diagram you would have drawn if the interface permitted you to. I just think what Chico is talking about here is clutch hitting, not situational hitting, even if the latter term does cover it.

Anyway, the Nats are terrible at both.

Posted by: Section222 | August 3, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"I continue to believe the problem is Rick Eckstein. He may be a whiz at analyzing video of last year's swing and teaching swing mechanics but I don't think he knows beans about how those mechanics translate into an actual game. After all, he never played major league (or minor league) baseball.

Dmitri Young is done as a player. He was a great situational hitter. Bring him in as some kind of assistant coach or something so he can help this situation."

Last year the hitting coach was Lenny Harris, one of the all-time great pinch hitters who in theory would provide the type of assistance you'd be looking to get from Dmitri Young. Lenny Harris was universally reviled.

This year the hitting coach is Rick Eckstein, whose approach is diametrically opposite to that of Lenny Harris. After universal acclaim early in the season because he was not Lenny Harris, Rick Eckstein is now universally reviled.

Which would seem to say that there's more than one way to lose 100 games. But in reality, that's not true. Because as we all know the real problem was Manny Acta.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I thought the real problem was Felipe Lopez

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

And of course, we're having this conversation the morning after a game with some great situational hitting, some great clutch hitting, and some great hitting after the 6th inning, which of course led to a rare W (though less rare of late; the Nats do have a winning record -- 7-6 -- since the Cubs series). I suspect when you're as bad as the Nats have been this year for as prolonged a period of time, numbers do not tell the whole story. While not a big proponent of "sports psychology" in general, I think the adverse affect of prolonged losing takes a unique and pernicious toll -- so sitiuational/clutch hitting cannot be evaluated solely based on the stats.

Posted by: cdstej | August 3, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

FLop? Need to get past that.

I suspect this is one reason why they have been fooling with the lineup. And the problem with situational hitting may just be noological:
they have gotten used to / believe they are destined to lose and so they find a way to do it. Based on the lineup and its "raw" number I tend to believe the latter as opposed to the former.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

In other words ... I agree with cdstej's comments above.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"In fact, I bet the numbers could prove or disprove The Dibble Maxim: good hitters need to be swinging in certain RISP situations,"

A walk is just as good as a hit. In fact I contend that it is better than a single. Why? Because you've worked the pitcher over and put him in a bad spot.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

And that's why I think Guzman does not belong hitting in the #2 spot. He doesn't walk.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ladson reports: "The Nationals have already used five second basemen this season -- Ronnie Belliard, Alex Cintron, Alberto Gonzalez, Willie Harris and Anderson Hernandez -- and none has produced the way the team would like at the position...If Orlando Hudson becomes a free agent, look for the Nationals to go after him."

What's up with this? Everyone knew the Nats did not have a major league starter at 2B going into 2009. News accounts had Orlando Hudon agreeing to come here, only to fail his physical. We are left to wonder if the pricetag (he signed later with the Dodgers for $3.38 million) was too high or if he did have a mysterious ailment. Hudson will be 32 next season, but is a fine player, with a .360 OBP.

Anyway, what has changed? The Nats still need a 2B, the Nats are still driven by money as the chief consideration in any deal, and they expect Hudson to be interested in the Nats in 2010 after flunking him in 2009. Somebody who has followed this more closely than I have should be able to clear this up.

Posted by: EdDC | August 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Before Angry NatsNation goes to Rick Eckstein's house and burn him for a witch, let's all take a deep breath. We should be very angry at the Lerners, but not about this. There is no difference in Chico's definition betweed situational and clutch hitting. Hitting is random. Good hitters, like Nick Johnson, will contact the ball more, and more things will happen, both good and bad.

"Various baseball analysts, including Bill James, Pete Palmer, Dick Cramer, and the Baseball Prospectus editors, have found so-called "clutch hitting" ability to be a myth. This is not to say that clutch hits, like those listed above, do not exist, but rather that some kind of innate ability for a player to perform above his true talent level in high-pressure situations is nothing but an illusion. In his 1984 Baseball Abstract, James framed the problem with clutch hitting this way: "How is it that a player who possesses the reflexes and the batting stroke and the knowledge and the experience to be a .260 hitter in other circumstances magically becomes a .300 hitter when the game is on the line? How does that happen? What is the process? What are the effects? Until we can answer those questions, I see little point in talking about clutch ability."

Most studies on the matter involved comparing performance in the "clutch" category of statistics (production with runners in scoring position, performance late in close games, etc.) between seasons; if clutch hitting were an actual skill, it would follow that the same players would do well in the clutch statistics year in and year out."


Wikipedia, with all deference to those who believe in witchcraft.

Last month or so, I challenged anyone to show me the stats (situational hitting stats are available for all to see on Baseball Reference.com) to prove that situational hitting exitsts. Do a number of players excel at it year after year? I'm still waiting.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

They have still yet to try Ian Desmond perhaps with Guzman at 2B instead of shortstop?

Hudson is better than Guzman. If they did get Hudson wouldn't you automatically assume they would find a way to get rid of Guzman? And use a combination of Gonzalez and Desmond at short?

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Chico you don't as far as I can tell offer reasons as to WHY the Nats are so bad at situational/clutch hitting? Why are other teams much better at it? Is it a systemic failure of good teaching in the Nats system, because the franchise has been a doormat for so long it's forgotten or neglected the basics of a winning offence (let alone defence or pitching)? Is it the sheer incompetence of players chosen because of poor scouting missing players who know how to win? I'd appreciate your insight here.

Posted by: mx_heinrich | August 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Nick was jumping up and down with his new team in the Marlins' walk-off win. It was heart-warming to see. I hope they win the World Series for Nick.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

A walk is just as good as a hit. In fact I contend that it is better than a single. Why? Because you've worked the pitcher over and put him in a bad spot.

---------------

periculum, simply put, no way. This is one of my pet peeves with modern baseball. What happens with a walk? Everybody moves up one base. With a single, depending on where it's hit, some guys can go two bases, which means a runner on second can score. Throw in a possible error along the way and that single gets mighty valuable.

I think this is one of the downsides of the emphasis on on base percentage, compared to just batting average. Who's the better hitter, a guy who hits .250 with a .350 OBP, or a guy who hits .270 with a .350 OBP? The .270 hitter generates more movement on the bases and hopefully more runs with those extra hits.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 3, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Chico gets my nomination for "web-gem of the year" for writing this most beautiful paragraph on Nick's trade:

"Just like that, everything changed. Johnson, at first, was so emotional that he knew only one response: He stayed in the cages with Eckstein and kept taking swings. But eventually, he reemerged in the clubhouse, as team employees helped him with a travel itinerary. Johnson choked back tears. He hugged teammates. In previous weeks, the Nationals had discussed a contract extension with their starting first baseman but couldn't get anything done. Though Johnson acknowledged the chance that he could rejoin Washington as a free agent this offseason, he also recognized the moment's significance. He was the last remaining Montreal Expo."

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

They have still yet to try Ian Desmond perhaps with Guzman at 2B instead of shortstop?

Hudson is better than Guzman. If they did get Hudson wouldn't you automatically assume they would find a way to get rid of Guzman? And use a combination of Gonzalez and Desmond at short?

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 1:00 PM

I'd like to see them try Desmond at SS and Guzman at 2B in September, just to see. It's worth a look.

As for getting rid of Guzman, the only thing they can do is eat a lot or all of that contract ($8M next year?) even if they send him to another team.

I'd like to see just how good Desmond is defensively. I know he impressed a lot of people a few years ago, but it seems like he's been inconsistent since then. He definitely deserves a shot.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 3, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Situational hitting is a figment of the imagination. Clutch is a myth. But choking is an incredibly real thing. Just ask Alex Rodriguez.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

EdDC - You are correct, sir! The Lerners let Orlando Hudson go, yet he was good enough for Chavez Ravine and the All Star Game. Why would he want to come here? No way. However, the Lerners could pay to restore Centennial Field in Vermont so that the Lake Monsters have a nice facility. It wouldn't cost even one of their billions, and would be a nice, tax-deductible gesture to show they give a damn about anything but the bottom line.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"Just ask Alex Rodriguez."

Mr. April!

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

When Adam Dunn ingloriously struck out with runners on second and third and one out over the weekend- it was noted that he made NO adjustment to the off speed pitches being thrown. Lets face it - Adam Dunn is being fed a HUGE diet of off speed pitches - and yet he makes no adjustment??? Huh??? This cost us a game that we could have won. Dunn is a disciplined hitter otherwise, but this needs to be addressed now. Can you comment on this?

Posted by: jgdonahue | August 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

FromTheEclipse...

I was waiting for A-Rod's name to drop on this topic. Apparently, Joe Torre's book is worth reading just for the A-Rod stuff alone.

But why do you say, "Situational hitting is a figment of the imagination. Clutch is a myth?"

Posted by: baltova1 | August 3, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"After universal acclaim early in the season because he was not Lenny Harris, Rick Eckstein is now universally reviled."

Really? Universally reviled? Breathe into a paper bag for a while, ok? I understand everyone isn't thrilled with the results, but that's a little harsh, don't you think?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

> But why do you say, "Situational hitting is a figment of the imagination. Clutch is a myth?"

If you need to ask why, you can never understand.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Really? Universally reviled? Breathe into a paper bag for a while, ok? I understand everyone isn't thrilled with the results, but that's a little harsh, don't you think?"

Just summing up the zeitgeist here, my man.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

So if "clutch hitting" is an artifact of selective memory and other biases, how can a given team suck so bad at something that doesn't exist?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I thought the real problem was Felipe Lopez

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 11:54 AM

*************************************
And Adam Archuleta.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

hey, while the clutch or situational hitting isn't that great this year, I would have to bet that it's a heckuva lot better than last year ...

Posted by: erocks33 | August 3, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"hey, while the clutch or situational hitting isn't that great this year, I would have to bet that it's a heckuva lot better than last year ..."

Just guessing here, but I would take that bet.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

So if "clutch hitting" is an artifact of selective memory and other biases, how can a given team suck so bad at something that doesn't exist?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 1:35 PM

*******************************************

The Curse of the Lerners in which the Dark Spirit of Landmark Mall follows this team like a Ignatius J. Reilly's gas, "with a being, a substance all its own." from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm having problems getting the E-SAVER discount? The 50% discount doesn't show. Anyone have success with it?

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 3, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats had let Hudson pass his physical and play here, that would have meant more than just a step toward respectability. Hudson could have been traded or prospects. Or if he had signed elsewhere after his days as a Nat were over, the Nats could have received higher draft picks than the one they retained by not signing Hudson.

And how many other guys did the Nats pass up, for "budgetary" reasons, that we don't even know about? Given the low payroll (27th in MLB), probably lots of them. If the Nats had just spent at the average level of MLB during the three years under the Lerners, the major league and minor league clubs would be much better stocked.

These games are won and lost at the ownership level, first and foremost. The clutch hitting stats, the choices of relievers, who gets the starting nod at 1B, who is next to be called up from Syracuse, etc., are all way down the list, far below ownership commitment in importance to the well-being of the franchise.

Posted by: EdDC | August 3, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

One thing you can't expect clutch hitting to do is get better now that Nick Johnson has been traded for Scott Olsen II, the Minor League Version. Is it just me, or if Larry Beinfest comes at you with a pitcher to trade, should you run as fast as you can? (Josh Beckett aside, and I wonder if the Red Sox would like to have Handley back after all?)

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, you are wise to lay this stinking corpse of a season on the front stoop of the Lerners, owners of Our Team and Landmark Mall.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, in hindsight, yes, ignoring the fact that the doctors said Hudson wasn't right looks like it would have paid off. But the pick they didn't lose by not signing him was the first pick (of the second round--Kobernus, as it turned out). They won't get a better pick than first.


************************
If the Nats had let Hudson pass his physical and play here, that would have meant more than just a step toward respectability. Hudson could have been traded for prospects. Or if he had signed elsewhere after his days as a Nat were over, the Nats could have received higher draft picks than the one they retained by not signing Hudson.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats would have signed Hudson even after failing his physical, you know that he would have been on the DL for most of the season (aka Natsluck) and the Nats would have gotten nothing for him.

Until it comes out WHY he failed his physical, I don't think we should heap blame on not signing him ...

Posted by: erocks33 | August 3, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"How is it that a player who possesses the reflexes and the batting stroke and the knowledge and the experience to be a .260 hitter in other circumstances magically becomes a .300 hitter when the game is on the line? How does that happen? What is the process? What are the effects? Until we can answer those questions, I see little point in talking about clutch ability."
____________

Clutchness is not ability to play above your skills. It an ability not to choke in crucial situations. People behave differently under pressure.

Posted by: nattydread1 | August 3, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

OK, but if it's not a crucial situation, just an ordinary one, it's not "choking." It's failing.


********
Clutchness is not ability to play above your skills. It an ability not to choke in crucial situations. People behave differently under pressure.
Posted by: nattydread1 | August 3, 2009 1:58 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"I'm having problems getting the E-SAVER discount? The 50% discount doesn't show. Anyone have success with it?"

I believe it's only good for certain games. Select your game and then type in the coupon code. The sections in which the discounted seats are available should then show up for you to choose from. The price shown will be the discounted price.

Are you doing all this and it's still not working? Blame the Lerners, but don't dare call the ticket office and ask for help.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins will finish with a 4-12 record.

Too bad, Danny Snyder.

Maryland football will finish with a 2-10 record.

Maryland basketball will finish with a 15-16 record

No NCAA bid

No NIT bid

Carolina Blue - Carolina WHITE - Go Tar Heels - Let's go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | August 3, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

> OK, but if it's not a crucial situation, just an ordinary one, it's not "choking." It's failing.

No it's not, cause if it was Dan Steinberg would be blogging about it.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Because that's how bad we suck.

-----

So if "clutch hitting" is an artifact of selective memory and other biases, how can a given team suck so bad at something that doesn't exist?

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

just checked--seems to work fine for the Tuesday game.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can tell, I'm following the process correctly. FYI, here's the info:

Half-price Insider E-Saver Specials
Get a 50% discount on tickets
vs. the Marlins August 4-6
Coupon code: E-SAVER

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 3, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

errr... nevermind.
it works.

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

maybe the steinberg fail has failed?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

you were typing it in lowercase, weren't you, dclifer? fess up

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

no, i used the code and selected the # of tix and location, then hit continue (not use the code and continue, then select # tix, etc)...

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 3, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, my post to try to answer the point about clutch hitting this year and last year has to be held for verification, but other people's e-sexual harassment gets to show up right away. Lovely.

You can check all those statistics on Baseball-Reference.com, they have two different sections, if you care.

The only part I will retype is this: There seems to be a little bit of a misunderstanding of Bill James', et al., statements about clutch hitting. The working hypothesis of the seamhead crowd is that clutch hitting as a skill does not exist, not that clutch situations do not exist. This is important because it means you cannot predict that an individual can change his range of probable outcomes because of the situation, but it does not say that as a team aggregate, the Nationals couldn't have a bad approach in such situations that would occur.

I know, it doesn't always make sense to me either, but there it is.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Hudson would have brought a sizable haul this trade deadline. Not that Willigham and Dunn might not have got something too.

Also, weren't there a large number of studies indicating that clutch hitting was largely a myth, caused by reading too much into small sample sizes. I'm at work so digging for the research might be risky right now but I'm sure clutch hitting was disproven.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 3, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa says: "EdDC, in hindsight, yes, ignoring the fact that the doctors said Hudson wasn't right looks like it would have paid off. But the pick they didn't lose by not signing him was the first pick (of the second round--Kobernus, as it turned out). They won't get a better pick than first."

If it makes you happy to think that, then that is a good thing. But the facts are otherwise. Arizona got #17 overall in the first round by letting Hudson sign elsewhere. Then they got #35 overall in the compensatory round, between the first and second rounds. The second round, where the Nats selected Kobernus, started at #50 overall. The Nats could do as well in 2010 if they had signed Hudson and let him go to a better club in the off-season.

http://baseball.about.com/od/firstrounddraftpicks/a/09draft.htm

Have the Nats have sold you on cheapness as a wonderful goal? I hope not, because you are an exceptionally thoughtful person, judging from your posts. The advantages of spending are that you win games, you get tradable commodities who can be turned into real prospects, and you can turn the guys you sign into high draft picks when they sign elsewhere. If you don't like the Orlando Hudson example, then think of all the other players the Nats have passed up who could have been turned into wins, prospects, and a better future.

Posted by: EdDC | August 3, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Note to self. Read, then type fast.

Thanks for the preemptive answer 506.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 3, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"This is important because it means you cannot predict that an individual can change his range of probable outcomes because of the situation"

Yes you can. In a clutch situation, you can predict that a choker will choke, and more often than not you will be right.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, Chico!

I am curious. Ranks of 27th and 28th sound really bad, but how much better are the top and middle teams than .223/.316/.330? I mean, are the rest of the teams that much better or are all the numbers tightly packed together, so that there's not a lot of difference between the 28th place team and say the 1st or 14th? Rankings can be tricky. Somebody's going to be 1 and somebody's going to be 30. You would think we were number 30!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

No, actually, I was forgetting the supplemental pick for a team that loses a type A free agent.
So, yes, the sandwich pick comes before the 2nd round pick, as would the Dodgers' first-round pick, at #17. None of that makes me happy, I just can't add sometimes. Bolloxed facts. Anyone would think I didn't know what I was talking about.

For the record, I've always been in the "put the most competitive product you can on the field at all times" camp, and rebuild the minors IN the minors, not at RFK. But I don't own the team, and that's not what they're going to do.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Yes you can. In a clutch situation, you can predict that a choker will choke, and more often than not you will be right."

The argument goes, as soundbloke succinctly summarizes, that there aren't enough "clutch" situations to draw a generalizable conclusion in the same way you can over seven or eight 500 AB seasons.

If you can find us someone with 500 clutch AB with a measurable difference from his non-clutch split, Eclipse, I think you would be doing quite a service for us and we would be grateful. I would check to see if B-R has the numbers for Mr. October, since that's the easiest target.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Its really a shame that Kobernus suffered that injury.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Nats still for sale?

Executives tell Jon Heyman of SI.com that we saw the "softest deadline ever" last week because there's still the possibility for trades this month. Here's an explanation of how trades can occur after the deadline and here are the players Heyman deems likely to clear waivers (player who clear waivers may be traded):

* Bronson Arroyo, Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen, Aaron Harang, Adrian Beltre, Aubrey Huff, Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora, Miguel Batista, Juan Cruz, Ty Wigginton, Ron Mahay, Willie Bloomquist, Lyle Overbay, Willy Taveras.

Some players who could clear waivers:

* Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Gil Meche, Alex Rios, Carl Pavano, Mark Hendrickson, Jhonny Peralta, Jamey Carroll, Ron Villone.

And some players who probably won't clear waivers, but who could be dealt to a claiming team:

* Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Heath Bell, Adrian Gonzalez, Marco Scutaro, Chad Qualls, Michael Wuertz, Brian Bannister, Josh Willingham, Gary Sheffield, David Eckstein, Jason Frasor, Mark Teahen.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"If you can find us someone with 500 clutch AB with a measurable difference from his non-clutch split, Eclipse, I think you would be doing quite a service for us and we would be grateful. I would check to see if B-R has the numbers for Mr. October, since that's the easiest target."

Look at ARod's playoff BA vs his regular season BA. That's all the data you need. Every at bat in the playoffs is by definition a clutch situation.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The D-backs are discussing a deal with free agent right-hander Daniel Cabrera, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.

Gilbert says D-backs scouts watched Cabrera throw in the Dominican Republic on Saturday. Cabrera could not find the plate for the Nationals (35 walks in 40 IP) and was designated for assignment in May.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

You look at Alex Rodriguez's post-season BA. You will see there are only 167 at bats, which we would never use to draw generalizable conclusions about a ball player.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

sec3

Wouldn't the minor league players be a little lonely in RFK anyway? Teasing obviously...

Periculum

You catch a lot of flack on this board for a lot of things. But the most cold hearted and evil thing you've ever done is get my hopes up like that.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 3, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

All this proves is the adage that people CAN choke. It does not prove that people can OVERPERFORM their otherwise normal level of achievement in clutch situations. I read the Bill James et al. crowd as saying that no one can prove that a player will consistently and reliably outperform his "normal" in clutch situations. But that's a different can of worms that saying that someone or some team can tense up, choke, assume the inevitable, mail it in, etc... That's why I said before I suspect the Nats, losers of so many for so long, HAD underperformed. But let's not forget, these things cannot be measured in a vacuum; for every "bad" AB in a "clutch" situation, the "average" to which clutch is being compared falls too... One affects the other.

Posted by: cdstej | August 3, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

My pick for a classic clutch hitter would be Gene Woodling, the Yankees' SS way back when. I know, clutch hitting is a myth, but still, he seemed to kill the Senators in games year after year. And he had a low batting average.

Posted by: JohnRDC | August 3, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

While I don't believe in clutch hitting, I do believe in choking!

Posted by: soundbloke | August 3, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to have what D.Cabrera has in any capacity of work that allows him to keep getting jobs, i mean what is it? and don't tell me it's potential.He threw for the D-Backs, what? do they not know his history, his inability to find the plate,but still he gets chance after chance what a country!

Posted by: dargregmag | August 3, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

JohnRDC: "I know, clutch hitting is a myth..."
============================================================
No, that seems to be the common misunderstanding of the issue. A walk-off game-winning HR is a clutch hit. What Bill James and others are saying is that clutch ABILITY is unproven; he hasn't ever been able to find any evidence that any player, over a significant period of time, i.e., a lot of ABs over a lot of seasons, regularly hit better in clutch situations than in non-clutch situations.

Clutch hitting exists, because clutch hits exist. But the ability to regularly hit significantly better in clutch situations is unproven.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 3, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

It's why Rizzo is smart. He's stockpiling young pitchers because no matter how bad a pitcher is, somewhere there is a pitching coach saying "if only we could get him to ... I'll bet he could be alright".

Posted by: soundbloke | August 3, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn could clear waivers? Seriously? Just who are these "executives" that are talking to Heyman? I think Heyman needs to get his Haldol dose adjusted.

Posted by: TomServo | August 3, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

TomServo

He's done it before. Seems unlikely but, who knows...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Very concise, gilbertbp, that's exactly what I said less elegantly.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

P.S. That sounded terrible, I was trying to write a compliment. Ugh, it might be a long week.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

'Sokay, 506, we know what you meant. :-)

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 3, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"You look at Alex Rodriguez's post-season BA. You will see there are only 167 at bats, which we would never use to draw generalizable conclusions about a ball player."

Speak for yourself. What do you mean, we? It's you vs millions of Yankees fans, who while they may be obnoxious are clearly not wrong.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Speak for yourself. What do you mean, we? It's you vs millions of Yankees fans, who while they may be obnoxious are clearly not wrong."

?

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that one players performance might be the classic definition of small sample size.

Little weenie does choke like a president on a pretzel though.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 3, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

>Last month or so, I challenged anyone to show me the stats (situational hitting stats are available for all to see on Baseball Reference.com) to prove that situational hitting exitsts. Do a number of players excel at it year after year? I'm still waiting.
Posted by: flynnie2

I can give you a physical description of clutch hitting. Whether you accept it or not is your problem, but basically what happens is that the hitter needs to see more pitches than normal in order to increase the burden on the pitcher. The more pitches he sees, the more likely he is to see a hitter's pitch. A pitcher won't give in, for instance if there's no one on base, but is more likely to do so if someone is on because he doesn't want to multiply his problems by walking people. If no one is on base, and he makes a mistake, he gets burned for one run. If he makes a mistake with a couple of guys on, he gets burned for 3 runs. So, in his effort not to walk anyone, he's more likely to aim for the middle of the plate to ensure a strike. But you don't get that pitch unless you work the count and put the onus on the pitcher to come to you, because he won't dumb his pitches down until he absolutely needs to.

Posted by: Brue | August 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats' cheapness stopped at free agent signings, then that would be bad but perhaps not unforgivable, though I would still complain.

However, the Nats also scrimp on the draft. And the Nats, under the Lerners, have never received a player in trade who makes decent money! Never, as in not ever, or to say it another way, it has not ever happened.

The highest salaried player that Nats ever received in trade under the Lerners is Willingham, and Josh only makes $2.95 million--good money for sure, but too low to be the highest ever! And Willingham is good! If the Nats could have taken higher-salaried players in trade, and not just restricted themselves to bargains, they would be a lot better.

In the good ol' days, when the Nats were owned by MLB and before the Lerners took over, the Nats were allowed to take a $10 million guy in trade, Soriano. Soriano brought some excitement for a year, signed with the Cubs, and then the Nats got two high draft picks in compensation. One of them hasn't worked out so far, but the other is Jordan Zimmermann. It does help to spend!

Posted by: EdDC | August 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Adam Dunn could clear waivers? Seriously? Just who are these "executives" that are talking to Heyman? I think Heyman needs to get his Haldol dose adjusted."

Of course he could. Any team that claims him would immediately be responsible for the rest of his salary this year (a portion of $8M) and next year's $12M salary, plus they would have to place him on the 25-man roster and get rid of someone else to make room for him. That's a steep price to pay for claiming someone on a whim. It's easy to see that no team might want to do that.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"I'm pretty sure that one players performance might be the classic definition of small sample size."

Not only that, soundbloke, but compared to his some 8,000 regular season at bats, it's hard to say that 167 is anything more than a brief streak. The fact that it occurs all in the same place COULD be coincidental, since correlation does not equal causation.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa,

Just saw your post, and a gracious one it is. I've learned much from you on this site.

Posted by: EdDC | August 3, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"But trades tell you what the general manager REALLY wants. I think that's why they're so emotional for fans. A good trade tells you that your team wants the same things you want. A bad trade tells you that you are rooting for the wrong team." Bill James

http://tinyurl.com/nhv3fk

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"And the Nats, under the Lerners, have never received a player in trade who makes decent money! Never, as in not ever, or to say it another way, it has not ever happened."

In order to receive a player in trade who makes big money, a team has to give up a similar player or several players who make a lesser amount of money. The fallacy of your argument (which is getting more and more tired the more you keep repeating it) is that the Nationals have not had the kind of players they would need to trade for a big money player. Unless of course they wanted to trade for a washed up big money player that no one else wants, e.g. Barry Zito, Andruw Jones, etc. Then all it would take is a bag of balls. But those are not the kind of big money players you build a winning team around.

You mentioned the Soriano trade. Look at who they traded for him - Wilkerson, Sledge (both major leaguers) plus a prospect. The Nats do not currently have the number of trade chips necessary to pull off more trades like that and continue to build their organizational depth. You don't build a team around two or three high-priced players and nothing else.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 3, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Could it be that pitchers try harder when there are 2 outs and men in scoring position...and this extra effort is enough to knock down the batting average of our Nats? Maybe they'd be consistent .215 hitters if pitchers were always bearing down.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | August 3, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

flynnie2 makes a good point about situational hitting, but it needs to be slightly qualified. Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus did a study back in 2006 that showed that a tiny handful of players did a tiny bit better in "clutch" situations.

That said, variations of the size that Chico is referring to here are almost certainly the result of nothing more than random chance. There's nothing Rick Eckstein or anybody else can do to fix bad luck.

That doesn't mean Chico's numbers are useless, however. Instead,if you take his numbers showing that the Nats have been very unlucky in scoring runs and then look at their extraordinary differential below their projected wins on the Pythagorean theorem based on the numbers of runs scored and allowed, you can make a pretty strong case that this is an incredibly unlucky team, which isn't nearly as bad as either its run production figures or its win totals would suggest.

Maybe Rizzo isn't wrong after all when he says this is a "building" team and not a "rebuilding" team.

Posted by: Snopes1 | August 4, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

for extra credit, tell us the data on Dunn, Zimmerman, and Johnson and get back to us? I think we'll figure out why we couldn't get a high enough price for Dunn to move him.

Posted by: natslifer | August 3, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse


Last night before Zimm hit his two-out homer, MASN showed his average with two outs and RISP. It was .186. That's a small sample (38 AB), but here's a more meaningful sample: With none on, he bats .327, with runners on he bats .263, with RISP, he bats .236.

For Dunn, With none on, he bats .282, with runners on he bats .279, with RISP, he bats .289. With two outs and RISP, he bats .250, and with bases loaded, he bats .444 with 2 HR in 9 AB.

For Johnson, With none on, he bats .289, with runners on he bats .303, with RISP, he bats .295. With two outs and RISP, he bats .286.

Looking at the three, only one has clearly failed in "situational hitting."

Posted by: oldwiseman | August 4, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company