Is the New York Yankees' Offense the Least Clutch in All of Baseball?
It may be time for the New York Yankees and their fans to start panicking. More than a quarter of the way through the season, the Yankees are in last place in the American League East, five-and-a-half games back of the division leading Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees have had their fair share of problems so far this season. Many of their pitchers have struggled, and their offense has not been up to par. Yankees hitters have not been able to come through in big situations this year.
Through this point in the year, the Yankees may have one of the most least clutch offensives in baseball, which is surprising given the talent that they have in their lineup. Are the Yankees actually the least clutch offense in the majors this year?
10) Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have gone 104 years without winning the World Series, and based on the way that they have played so far in 2012, that drought will reach 105 years. Chicago is well under .500 so far this year.
One of the reasons for the Cubs' struggles is that they have failed to score a lot of runs this year. They are near the bottom of the league in runs scored. Part of the explanation for this is that they have been unable to come up with hits in clutch situations.
9) St. Louis Cardinals
Believe it or not, the St. Louis Cardinals have actually struggled in clutch situations this year. Even with these issues, they still lead the National League Central.
Cardinals' hitters have posted a clutch statistic of minus-1.6 so far this season. This is the fourth worst mark in the MLB so far this year. Luckily the Cardinals have been able to score early and often, which is why they have a good record even though they have not come through in the clutch.
8) Milwaukee Brewers
Losing Prince Fielder has certainly taken its toll on the Milwaukee Brewers so far this season. They lost a player that was seemingly always able to get a big hit when it was needed.
Without Fielder, the Brewers have struggled mightily in 2012. Not only are they eight games below .500, but they also have not been clutch at all this year. They have a clutch statistic of minus-0.6 which shows that they have preformed below average in high leverage situations.
7) San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, and they have found themselves behind at some point of almost every game that they have played this year.
When the Padres do find themselves in a big situation in a close game, their hitters have not been very productive. They have a clutch statistic of minus-0.8 this season.
6) Boston Red Sox
While the Boston Red Sox have scored the second most runs in the major leagues, they have struggled to come through with big hits in important situations, which is one of the reasons why they are tied with the Yankees in the standings.
Boston has a powerful offense, but they seem to struggle in big spots. They have a clutch statistic of minus-1.0 according to Baseball Reference, which means that they have not produced well in high leverage situations.
Additionally, Red Sox pinch hitters have a .172 batting average and have only driven in two runners in 29 at-bats.
5) Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox may be in second place in the American League Central, but they will not be there for long if they are not able to perform better in high-pressure situations.
Chicago has a clutch statistic of minus-1.0 this year and they have still been able to succeed even with their struggles. They have used pinch hitters in incredibly high leverage situations (their leverage index for pinch hitters is 1.94), and those pinch hitters have only picked up three hits and one RBI in 22 at-bats.
4) Philadelphia Phillies
It is easy to identify the source of a number of the offensive problems that the Philadelphia Phillies have had this year. Injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have had a negative impact on their offense.
The Phillies are sitting in last place in the National League East as a result of their struggles. Phillies hitters have not come through in the clutch, giving the team a minus-1.0 clutch statistic. With a .197 batting average and just three RBI in 61 at-bats, it is evident that Phillies pinch hitters have struggled this year.
3) Los Angeles Angels
A lot of things have gone wrong for the Los Angeles Angels this season, and they are certainly not living up to the expectations that were placed on them prior to the season. While things may be starting to look up for the Angels, they have a lot to improve on.
Los Angeles hitters have a clutch statistic of minus-1.0 so far this season because they simply have not been able to deliver in situations late in close games.
The Angels are going to need to turn this around quickly if they are going to have any chance of challenging the Texas Rangers for first place in the American League West.
2) Kansas City Royals
This season was potentially supposed to be the year that the Kansas City Royals broke out and challenged for a spot in the playoffs. That is certainly not looking like the case right now.
While the Royals have had a number of bright spots this year, they are struggling in a big way when they are in tight games. They have a minus-2.1 clutch statistic this season, which is tied for the worst mark in the majors this year.
1) New York Yankees
The New York Yankees have been very un-Yankee-like so far this season. Yankees teams have been known for coming through in big situations, but the 2012 Yankees have not been able to do this.
This failure to perform in the clutch has cost the Yankees a few wins this season and has to be a sign that is pushing the team close to panic mode. The Yankees have a minus-1.9 clutch statistic this season, and they have had numerous hitters strike out in big situations.