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Thursday

23

May 2013

62

COMMENTS

Game 45- The Clutch Needs Replacement

Written by , Posted in General

Box Score / Highlights

Star of the Game –Francisco Liriano – .427 (WPA)


by Holden Clark

If the Cubs were a Car they would be a well worn Jeep Wrangler. They would look awesome to be in and around. Unfortunately when you get in you find that the clutch is simply gone. As we all know, the only way to go when the clutch is gone is downhill. Have no fear, every once in a while you can get the transmission to jam in gear but you are likely to be left on the side of the road wondering how much worse it could get.

Well, it got worse. After blowing a gem of a start by Matt Garza last night, the Cubs left their bats at the hotel today. We saw a great chance in the fourth for the Cubs to really put some runs on the board when they loaded up the bases with no outs. It was like they were cruising down Main Street with the wind in their collective, unkempt hair. Then we saw and heard the terrible grind and whining halt of the clutch going out. If the Dodgers strategy is sign all the players, the Cubs is to leave them all on base. The Cubs promptly went down in succession leaving the bases juiced.

Did I mention that it was the top of the order that broke down when the runs were ripe for the taking? On top of that, the heart of the order went out of their way to go a combined 0-12 with 7 Ks. That’s okay, right? There is other ways to get aboard other than hitting. Well, Barney took advantage of that and got the one Cubs walk of the game, bringing the grand total for the entire season to a crisp 100.

The big issue for the Cubs is bringing men around. They lead the Majors in two baggers. That means they can hit the ball and drive it. Yet they are ranked twenty fourth in RBIs. Absent the runs scored by errors, the Cubs are leaving too many men in scoring position. So what is their rate this season? They are leaving 3.56 runners in scoring position per game so far this season, again in the bottom five of the league.

Here is why. The Cubs DO NOT take pitches. They have 100 walks on the season; dead last in all of Major League Baseball. This may not make any sense, but try to follow this. When a man is standing on third and ninety feet from home you need a base hit (even a base hit will score most from second). The Cubs are ranked twenty eighth in the Majors in getting just a base hit. For a team they have a laughable .303 OBP, good for 26th in the league.

So while the league and generally most statistical analysis downplay the statistical value of leaving runners in scoring position, the Cubs could use a bump. Leading the league in putting runners in scoring position would mean they would see a huge benefit from scoring those runs. Sounds simple right?

One last stat for the Cubs at game 45, they rank 27th in the Majors in the appropriately name “Clutch” stat. This measures “…how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in a context neutral environment.” –Fangraphs. The Cubs have a clutch of -1.51. Fangraphs list between -1.0 and -2.0 as Poor and Awful, respectively. Dioner Navarro leads the Cubs and Barney brings up the caboose. That about describes the Cubs so far when it comes to using the clutch this year. Just like a teenager trying to learn how to drive his first straight drive, they’ll get it every once in a while but you can expect the stench of shame most of the time till something changes.

  • BLPCB

    Switch to auto

    • Eddie Von White

      An automatic transmission and a Jeep Wrangler just don’t mesh.

      • BLPCB

        I have no use for a Jeep Wrangler. When I move to Florida, I’m going to get me a Ford Pickup truck. Probably an F-350 or an F-450.

      • Eddie Von White

        Why would you have any use for a truck that large?

      • BLPCB

        To haul a boat or a full size RV

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I thought that people buy RVs to either camp in or to pull boats with, but I have never seen a pickup truck pull an RV unless it was in a comercial to show its power.

      • BLPCB

        You should come to Springfield for the RV show next year. There are plenty of campers that are pulled by a pickup. Not all RVs are motor homes, which is probably what you are thinking of. An RV can accomplish the task of a motor home for far far less.

      • Eddie Von White

        But when you factor in the price of a behemoth sized truck to pull your camper, “far far less” will not be in your vocabulary.

      • BLPCB

        Not true. An F-350 and a trailer is about 60 grand. A motor home is 100 grand. Plus the F-350 can still be used as a regular car. This is what an F-350 looks like:
        http://dailyinspires.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ford_f350_wallpaper.jpg

        It’s the size as a regular pickup, it’s just classified as a commercial vehicle because it’s over 10,000 lbs and has 6 wheels.

      • How much is your uncle paying you?

      • Jedi

        Just glad he wasn’t asking us for information easily Google’d for once. If his Uncle has to pay for CAPS to do his own research, I’m good with that.

      • BLPCB

        Not enough

      • How much is your uncle paying you?

      • Jedi

        Just glad he wasn’t asking us for information easily Google’d for once. If his Uncle has to pay for CAPS to do his own research, I’m good with that.

      • AC0000000

        You should come to Springfield for the RV show next year. There are plenty of campers that are pulled by a pickup. Not all RVs are motor homes, which is probably what you are thinking of. An RV can accomplish the task of a motor home for far far less.

      • Eddie Von White

        But when you factor in the price of a behemoth sized truck to pull your camper, “far far less” will not be in your vocabulary.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        niether does camping and sleeping in your car, but CAPS did that too.

      • BLPCB

        I had to! I’m not going to shell out the money for a sleeping bag and tent for one weekend. A few people slept in tents. Most of the people slept in RVs. Next time I’ll buy a teardrop trailer. Not just for camping, but for when I move to Florida, I can use it to move all my stuff too.

  • AC0000000

    Switch to auto

    • Eddie Von White

      An automatic transmission and a Jeep Wrangler just don’t mesh.

      • AC0000000

        I have no use for a Jeep Wrangler. When I move to Florida, I’m going to get me a Ford Pickup truck. Probably an F-350 or an F-450.

      • Eddie Von White

        Why would you have any use for a truck that large?

      • AC0000000

        To haul a boat or a full size RV

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        niether does camping and sleeping in your car, but CAPS did that too.

  • I’ve always said, be patient, take a walk, take a pitch on the shoulder(but don’t get hurt). You don’t win by not scoring runs.

    IMO we’ve got a better rotation than Milwaukee, so we should at least be a few games ahead of them. Instead we’re tied. The Cubs are grinding my gears in a major way.

    • Eddie Von White

      Milwaukee has Ram-Ram and Roidy McRoidsalot.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I always found it interesting the way Ram-Ram would always start hitting after his trips back from the Dominican.

      • BLPCB

        Are you trying to imply something?

      • Eddie Von White

        Yes

      • BLPCB

        Just because the stuff he might dope on in the Dominican Republic might be legal there but not in America doesn’t mean he won’t pass the drug test. Because the drug test is done in America, and if the stuff he’s doping on is banned here, then he would get busted.

      • Eddie Von White

        I thought it was the home cooking.

      • BLPCB

        You’re telling me he can’t find an Indian food place and get his plantains there? News flash, A-Ram: Indians eat plantains too, and we make them very similar to Dominicans. You could have hit up Devon during your 9 years here for your plantains.

      • Gentlemen, it was never the drugs. Or the home cooking. It was the conjugal visits. Nothing like a good woman to get the power flowing.

      • BLPCB

        I thought his wife lived with him during the season? Remember when he was on the trading block 2-3 years ago and said he would veto any trade because he didn’t want to leave his wife and kids behind?

      • It was a joke. Perhaps you’d have understood it if you weren’t so hell bent on correcting every single comment anyone makes.

      • BLPCB

        I seriously don’t know if she lives with him or is back home. Because one year he makes that comment about blocking trades, another year he left the team to go back to the DR for the birth of his kid.

      • Eddie Von White

        Dah! I should of known…but I don’t blame CAPS for not knowing.

      • Eddie Von White

        Yes

      • AC0000000

        Just because the stuff he might dope on in the Dominican Republic might be legal there but not in America doesn’t mean he won’t pass the drug test. Because the drug test is done in America, and if the stuff he’s doping on is banned here, then he would get busted.

      • Eddie Von White

        I thought it was the home cooking.

      • AC0000000

        You’re telling me he can’t find an Indian food place and get his plantains there? News flash, A-Ram: Indians eat plantains too, and we make them very similar to Dominicans. You could have hit up Devon during your 9 years here for your plantains.

      • Gentlemen, it was never the drugs. Or the home cooking. It was the conjugal visits. Nothing like a good woman to get the power flowing.

      • AC0000000

        I thought his wife lived with him during the season? Remember when he was on the trading block 2-3 years ago and said he would veto any trade because he didn’t want to leave his wife and kids behind?

      • It was a joke. Perhaps you’d have understood it if you weren’t so hell bent on correcting every single comment anyone makes.

      • AC0000000

        I seriously don’t know if she lives with him or is back home. Because one year he makes that comment about blocking trades, another year he left the team to go back to the DR for the birth of his kid.

      • Eddie Von White

        Dah! I should of known…but I don’t blame CAPS for not knowing.

  • I’ve always said, be patient, take a walk, take a pitch on the shoulder(but don’t get hurt). You don’t win by not scoring runs.

    IMO we’ve got a better rotation than Milwaukee, so we should at least be a few games ahead of them. Instead we’re tied. The Cubs are grinding my gears in a major way.

    • Eddie Von White

      Milwaukee has Ram-Ram and Roidy McRoidsalot.

  • I bet the basement dweller who formulated the ‘clutch’ stat has been shunned by his pimply peers.

  • I bet the basement dweller who formulated the ‘clutch’ stat has been shunned by his pimply peers.

  • Doug S.

    Odds defying Cubs. A couple of places online suggest that the chance of scoring runs with the bases loaded and no outs is 82%. Nice work boys.

    • Jedi

      Of the next 99 times that scenario is presented in MLB games, the 17 failures to score will all be Cub chances gone wanting. Put some odds on that…

      • BLPCB

        Those odds are better than winning the lottery or getting hit by lightning.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I still say it is a mind frame that the Cubs have, I did not agree with Dusty on many things, but he was correct when he tried to instill the idea that it is the pitcher that is in trouble in those situations. It seems that the Cubs come up expecting to strike out, and then swing at every pitch until they are the ones in trouble.

      • Jedi

        Unreal, yesterday with the bases loaded they’re swinging at anything like their life depends on it. Today facing a two-run deficit in the 9th the final two outs are made looking at strike 3.

  • Doug S.

    Odds defying Cubs. A couple of places online suggest that the chance of scoring runs with the bases loaded and no outs is 82%. Nice work boys.

    • Jedi

      Of the next 99 times that scenario is presented in MLB games, the 17 failures to score will all be Cub chances gone wanting. Put some odds on that…

      • AC0000000

        Those odds are better than winning the lottery or getting hit by lightning.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I still say it is a mind frame that the Cubs have, I did not agree with Dusty on many things, but he was correct when he tried to instill the idea that it is the pitcher that is in trouble in those situations. It seems that the Cubs come up expecting to strike out, and then swing at every pitch until they are the ones in trouble.

  • mike_thoms

    What happened to teaching players to take walks? I mean I guess most of these hitters aren’t from the system or are from the old, broken system.

  • SalukiCub

    Doesn’t help when your driver is sveuming all over the road.

  • SalukiCub

    Doesn’t help when your driver is sveuming all over the road.