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The Unclutch

The best tradition of a Yankee-infested post-season is the hatchet job to Alex Rodriguez whenever the Yankees fail. They are heading to the tourney this year,which means after Alex Rodriguez’s first 0-for playoff game we’ll get to read about how awful he is in the post-season. With that in mind let’s address the topic before the headlines do.

Alex Rodriguez does not hit well in the playoffs

His career wOBA in the regular season is .412. His career post-season wOBA is .368. Relative to his standards he doesn’t hit well in the playoffs.

He’s been the invisible man with the Yankees

Let’s drop wOBA for a moment and simply look at his playoff series lines in pinstripes:

2004 ALDS: .421/.476/.737 (21 PA)
2004 ALCS: .258/.378/.561 (37 PA)
2005 ALDS: .133/.381/.200 (21 PA)
2006 ALDS: .071/.071/.071 (14 PA)
2007 ALDS: .267/.353/.467 (17 PA)

You have one great series and two awful, and two below A-Rod standards. Invisible? No. Not as good as his regular season self? Yes. The sample size isn’t big enough to say whether this is simply random fluctuation or a fear of the post-season stage.

A-Rod isn’t clutch

Our glossary defines the Clutch statistic as:

Clutch – How much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in a context neutral environment.

You can read more about it here, but let’s look at those playoff years and their Clutch figures:

2004: 0.45
2005: -0.09
2006: -0.08
2007: -0.12

Overall positive, but recent history has been unkind to Rodriguez. How about a quick comparison to Derek Jeter’s figures during that same time period?

2004: -0.05
2005: -0.07
2006: -0.30
2007: -0.01

Oh. Well then.