Adventures in Advanced Baseball Statistics, Part 4: Kiss her on the…

Do you remember all those games you’ve watched as a baseball fan where some player would come to the plate in the late innings, a couple of men on base, with your team down by two runs, and you’d think, “this is just who I want at the plate” even though the player in question is an unremarkable outfielder batting .220 on the season?

Or how about when your star player came to bat in a similar situation (read: A-Rod pre-2009 Yankees), and you’d groan and think “why did it have to be him? He’s just gonna strikeout trying to hit a homer.”

Well, there’s a stat for that! (My new catchphrase).

Late-Inning Pressure Situations (LIPS) was developed by the Elias Sports Bureau in the early-mid 80’s. It is an attempt to determine how “clutch” a player is (and if there was any question, Mario is the most clutch player on the team). Basically it’s a player’s batting average measured only during pressure situations, which are defined as any time after the 7th Inning where a team is down by 3-runs or less (or 4 if the bases are loaded).

So now, instead of just having a feeling in your gut about a player’s clutchness, you can actually just look up the statistic. See how convenient sabermetrics makes your life?


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