If there was ever any merit to the concept that clutch hitting doesn’t exist, that “theory” has been completely disproven by these 2012 New York Mets by one lone number.
After Thursday night’s incredible 6-5 walk-off victory over the Phillies, that number represents how many times the Mets have scored a run with two outs in the 2012 regular season. That number 185 is the best out of any team in the majors and accounts for 48% of the total runs scored by the Amazin’s this year. That the number is a huge reason why this team stands at eight games over .500 entering the second half.
For many however, this number seems to be a coincidence, a myth. To some this far-fetched idea of clutch hitting is just that, a far-fetched idea. Yet somehow, this team has done exceptionally better in high pressure situations; the very definition of clutch.
Thursday night, every one of Wright’s hits either tied the game or gave the Mets the lead, everytime with two outs; that’s clutch. Justin Turner batting over .400 with an OPS over 1.000 with two outs and RISP; That’s clutch. The entire Mets lineup scoring 185 of their 391 runs with two dead in the inning are batting .287/.391/.469 with two outs and runners in scoring position this year, you guessed it; that’s clutch. Their figures across the board are significantly better with two outs, going completely against convention wisdom in baseball. When it comes down to that last chance, late in the game, this team offense goes to work, grinding out every at bat to get on base somehow. This was best exemplified on Thursday and even last night when the Mets scored three runs and came just one knock shy of tying the ballgame. Despite the loss, that was clutch nonetheless.
Clutch isn’t just hitting though. Bobby Parnell coming in and slamming the door; that’s clutch. Kirk Nieuwenhuis leaping into walls or Wright barehanding one to prevent a crucial run from crossing home; that’s clutch. Johan Santana finishing off the first no-hitter in the Mets 50-year history with help by Mike Baxter giving no regard for his own body to make an incredible grab; I can’t think of a much better example for clutch than that.
Clutch does exist, and it is no more apparent than with these 2012 Mets. When the going gets tough and the chips are down, this group of 25 guys bare down and scrap for every blessed run no matter how hopeless or unprobable the outcome may seem; and there is no stat or calculation to prove that.
And if you disagree, maybe you should get out from under your charts and calculator and watch a baseball game for a change.