Fanposts Revisited: The Cubs do not have a clutch hitting problem.

Over the course of the offseason, I'm going to look at the fanposts I made during the season and reflect on them, finding out if my opinions were off base or not, and giving myself a grade from STRIKEOUT to GRAND SLAM. Second in the series: The Cubs do not have a clutch hitting problem.


My major points were as follows:

  • The Cubs basically have hit just as well, if not better, with runners in scoring position as they have with the bases empty.
  • I updated the post after a couple series that made me look wrong and stupid.
  • All year long in other threads I kept insisting that this was luck-based, and there was no actual problem. I believe there is no inherent difference in batting with men on and with the bases empty, as long as game situation dictates that you are swinging the bat.
  • I made a good analogy about cars.


Okay. First of all, let's look at how we did at the end of the year.

RISP 1671 1387 555 206 340 .253 .351 .435 .787 .290
Bases Empty 3473 3118 134 313 849 .254 .331 .442 .772 .309
Men On 2810 2378 651 309 552 .256 .347 .431 .779 .294

Bases Empty and Men On: Mutually exclusive data sets that include every plate appearance on the season.
Men On and RISP: The Venn Diagram of this data set is two concentric circles.
Anyway, the numbers here are pretty friggin' similar. Looks like I was correct beyond a shadow of a doubt. We slugged slightly better with the bases empty, and we got on base better with RISP. BA was the same across the board. Open-and-shut case, right?


You know it's not that simple and I know it's not that simple. For a while there, we were indeed hitting worse with RISP than we were with the bases empty. But, like I said, it was all bad luck and it all averaged out in the end (for everyone except KB). I award myself a TRIPLE for my post on RISP in late April.

Real quick, I want to talk about a stat that frustrates me. That stat is LOB. People like to point at LOB and say "hey, we left 14 men on base this game, that's really bad" or whatever applies on the day. I think that's a silly thing to say. It's like saying "my Halloween candy haul sucked this year, I got 14 fun-size Mounds bars", when also in your bag are several king size Skittles and Twix. Yes, we leave a lot of guys on base, but that's largely due to how many guys we get on in the first place. A better stat by miles and miles would be LOB%, a factor of how many guys reached base and how many guys scored. For whatever reason, though, no stats pages seem to track this for hitters. If you can find one, I'd appreciate it.

- Previously on Fanposts Revisited: Javier Baez is not a leadoff hitter.

- Up next: Javier Baez has not been good at swinging a bat this year.

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