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View Full Version : Frank & Late-Inning Clutch


Procol Harum
04-23-2002, 09:56 AM
I know one of you dudes out there must have a subscription to Stats Inc. or somesuch--anybody have any access to numbers on Frank for at bats in the 8th, 9th, or extra innings when the team is behind or tied and he has the potential to tie or put the team ahead? Wonder how he stacks up against people like Brett, Mattingly, Boggs, Ripken, Bonds...and dare I even say...
<gulp>...Shammy?

For those of us who've been watching Hurt for lo these many years, his average in those situations must be on the interstate. Last night's situation was painful but could happen to anyone. Unfortunately for Frank--a great player and should-be-future-hall-of-famer, it has proven to be a career characteristic. We all know he's been great during the first 5-6 innings and has been a major contributor to getting the Sox out of the gate (how many homers has he hit in his first at bat?). He is frequently capable of delivering a base hit in such situations when nobody is on or if there's a runner on first, but rarely comes the big clutch hit to drive in the tie or winning runs.

At any rate, it'd be interesting to get some empirical evidence rather than going on mere impression.

cheeses_h_rice
04-23-2002, 10:04 AM
I caught about a minute of this same discussion on the Boers and Bernstein show this morning.

My early '90s memories of Frank have pretty much faded, so I'm left with his production in the last several years, and I think you're right, Frank tends to go silent in the ultra-clutch times when he's needed. Usually, it's someone like Jose, Konerko, Maggs or C. Lee that produces big, although I'm not saying that Frank NEVER does it.

As for Shammy, he's definitely lethal with the game on the line, but I've seen him whiff way more times than get a hit in the big situations. The most obvious example of him coming through in the clutch is his monster blast off of Foulke in one of the Sox/Cubs games at Comiskey in 2000, when the Flubbies were trailing by 2 I believe and down to their last out (and Sham-ME had already K'd 4 times that night). That certainly quieted the Sox portion of the crowd.

Procol Harum
04-23-2002, 10:14 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't say that Frank never comes through at a big moment--in that case there'd be no question about his worth in such situations. But, it does seem real apparent that it's usually someone else providing those big moments for us (I'd be willing to bet, for instance, that Herbert Perry--on a per capita ratio--performed much better in this role in 2000 than Frank).

As for Shammy, he does whiff a lot in such moments and we all love it when that happens. But he does come through frequently enough to strike the fear of God into the opposition when they see him coming to the plate in such circumstances.

Soxboyrob
04-23-2002, 10:23 AM
It'll be tough to find the empirical evidence you desire because although they keep stats like BA w/ RISP or BA, close and late or BA w/ 2 out and RISP, none of those stats truly get into the crux of what we're looking for. I'd love to see what Frank does when the team is losing in the last couple of innings and guys on base and Frank has a chance to tie the game or put the Sox in the lead. I sure don't expect him to hit a homer every time, but it would be nice to just see him hit the ball hard and make the fielder make a play on the ball instead of just striking out or hitting his customary flyball to the first base camera well. As for hitting in the clutch, he is truly the last guy on the team I ever really want to see come up to bat with the game on the line....but if we're tied in the third inning, Frank is all that and a bag of chips. The other day, Frank had a monster game w/ 2 walks and 3 hits and everyone thought, "hey, he's out of the slump and rocking the ball again." Did anyone notice that the first of those three hits came after we had a comfortable lead. I don't mean to nitpick the guy because the runs he creates in the early part of the game often end up being the winning runs. My only point here is to note that I hate seeing the game come down to a Frank at-bat in the late part of the game.

Procol Harum
04-23-2002, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Soxboyrob
As for hitting in the clutch, he is truly the last guy on the team I ever really want to see come up to bat with the game on the line....

That pretty much sums it up for me--wonder how many WSI-types get the same gut feeling?

cheeses_h_rice
04-23-2002, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by Procol Harum


That pretty much sums it up for me--wonder how many WSI-types get the same gut feeling? \

I wouldn't go that far. I can think of at least one guy I'd rather see less than Frank.

:hitless

You talkin' 'bout me?

duke of dorwood
04-23-2002, 10:40 AM
Frank's inability to hit in the clutch is evidenced by all the first inning HR's he has too. No, he's not the worst guy to come up in clutch situations. He gets lots of walks in those situations you'd like him to be hitting the way Mags hits into double plays

Procol Harum
04-23-2002, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
\

I wouldn't go that far. I can think of at least one guy I'd rather see less than Frank.

:hitless

You talkin' 'bout me?

LOL! He was so far out of the question that he wasn't even on my radar scope!

Chisox353014
04-23-2002, 11:07 AM
My instinct tells me that this part of Frank's game has faded over the last few years, but I remember a lot of big hits during the 2000 season. I'm more concerned with whether his skills have faded in general. He still has a great eye, but I wonder if the Frank of the early 90's will ever return. Was 2000 his last monster season? I know it's still early and he's coming off an injury, but my gut feeling is that he may in the beginning of a Ripken-like slow fade- I hope I'm wrong.

dougs78
04-23-2002, 01:05 PM
I agree that if its a clutch situation, Frank is not always as comforting as he should be. Whereas it seems that a guy like Konerko always comes through. I'm sure its really more a matter of perception, but i'll agree that frank seems to get worse as the game moves along. Could it be that Frank is having trouble with guys who have big time "stuff" be it a sinker, fastball etc?

I'm just thinking that typically the relievers and guys in at the end of games may be throwing harder stuff than the guys at the beginning. Maybe thats why he has more trouble late.

Finally, I am also sick and tired of seeing him get under pitches and foul them off or pop them up. The frank I remember almost always got the ball on the sweet spot, and it is seeming like now he only gets the bottom 1/3 of the ball.

Mathew
04-23-2002, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by Soxboyrob
It'll be tough to find the empirical evidence you desire because although they keep stats like BA w/ RISP or BA, close and late or BA w/ 2 out and RISP, none of those stats truly get into the crux of what we're looking for. I'd love to see what Frank does when the team is losing in the last couple of innings and guys on base and Frank has a chance to tie the game or put the Sox in the lead. I sure don't expect him to hit a homer every time, but it would be nice to just see him hit the ball hard and make the fielder make a play on the ball instead of just striking out or hitting his customary flyball to the first base camera well. As for hitting in the clutch, he is truly the last guy on the team I ever really want to see come up to bat with the game on the line....but if we're tied in the third inning, Frank is all that and a bag of chips. The other day, Frank had a monster game w/ 2 walks and 3 hits and everyone thought, &quot;hey, he's out of the slump and rocking the ball again.&quot; Did anyone notice that the first of those three hits came after we had a comfortable lead. I don't mean to nitpick the guy because the runs he creates in the early part of the game often end up being the winning runs. My only point here is to note that I hate seeing the game come down to a Frank at-bat in the late part of the game.

What did people expect from him? He bats .300 that means there was a 3\10 chance of him getting a hit and we needed a homerun to boot. It won't happen every game. I don't care what his numbers are, I want the best hitter at the plate when we need to win the game facing their best pitcher(or at least their closer).

Soxboyrob
04-23-2002, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by Mathew
What did people expect from him? He bats .300 that means there was a 3\10 chance of him getting a hit and we needed a homerun to boot. It won't happen every game. I don't care what his numbers are, I want the best hitter at the plate when we need to win the game facing their best pitcher(or at least their closer).

It's not about being the best hitter or the fact that he will only come through with a hit 3 out of every 10 times at bat. It's about what he brings to the table in what I'll call the "ultra-clutch" situations. I'm not just referring to when runners are in scoring position. I'm talking about game on the line, late in the game, 2 outs, gotta have a hit situations. Frank just seems to be a different hitter in those situations than when there isn't any pressure. It's probably a mental thing but his propensity to strike out or pop up seems to have a proportional relationship to the importance of the at-bat. I feel like even a pud like Royce Clayton comes through in those situations more than Frank, since I can't really remember Frank ever really doing it. Maybe Frank's failures in these situations are magnified due to the greater attention and expectation he warrants.