Feldman: Clutch performers. Fluke or no?

Feldman: Clutch performers. Fluke or no?

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Feldman: Clutch performers. Fluke or no?

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 9:43 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (BaseballStL) -- The way baseball is going nowadays, statisticians all over are trying to reinvent the game.  They're coming up with new numbers, new stats, new ways of viewing the way players and teams are evaluated.

Some I get.  I truly believe there is a need for a lot of these new ways to see the game.

Others I don't get.  And one of those is how they don't believe there is such a thing as performing in the clutch.  Statisticians believe an at-bat is an at-bat.  An inning is an inning.  And they're all the same.

So if you're David Freese up in Game 6 of the World Series and just a strike away from elimination, they'd have you believe that's the same thing as facing a random minor leaguer in spring training. 

An at-bat is an at-bat.  An inning is an inning.

To me, that's spoken from someone that has never played the game.  Now, I'm not saying I have from the professional level.  I'm not a major leaguer and I don't pretend to be. 

But if you think you can justify comparing an at-bat in the middle of May to what David Freese saw against Neftali Feliz last October or what Daniel Descalso saw against Drew Storen on Friday night, with all due respect, they're insane.

Mike Matheny said in his pre game press conference today at AT&T Park that he doesn't get that either.  He knows what when you see a statistic such as the fact David Freese has 25 RBIs in his first 25 career postseason at-bats, something only Lou Gehrig has done, it's legitimate.

That's no fluke.

That's someone who doesn't get distracted or scared by a situation.

Some Cardinals told reporters that they saw a few of the Nationals taking deep breaths during that epic Game 5 in Washington on Friday night.  They saw them trying to calm their nerves.  They knew the Nationals were nervous.  They knew they could take advantage of that.

If that's not living proof that situations are different then I don't know what is.  When you're in a pressurized game or a pressurized at-bat your true colors show.

The Cards have that.  Not all other teams do.

And you know what?  The guy going tonight for the Redbirds - Chris Carpenter - does.  He just so happens to be the winningest pitcher in Cardinals team history.

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