On his blog, sportswriter Jonah Keri addresses one of my biggest pet-peeves as a Met fan, namely, blaming David Wright for being “unclutch”. Keri writes:
The problem with the argument that Wright deserves scorn because he doesn’t come through in the clutch is that…it’s completely false. Here are David Wright’s splits from 2006-2008:
Overall: .312 AVG/.396 OBP/.537 SLG
Runners On: .313/.399/.546
Scoring Position: .304/.400/.504
Bases Loaded: .341/.392/.610
Keri’s right, of course. It’s ludicrous to expect Wright – or anybody for that matter – to do much better. He doesn’t make outs and he gets his hits, often for extra bases. What more do you want?
But I want to point out something else in defense of David Wright. Because I just know that people will still look at these numbers that Keri provides and claim that #5 doesn’t come through when it matters, by which I assume they mean when games hang in the balance. Which, again, is a load of crap.
In “high leverage” situations (plate appearances thatoccurred in the most important portion of the game) throughout his career, Wright has a line of .315/.398/.529. That’s pretty damned awesome. Let’s try different numbers that seems less arbitrary.
Late and Close: .306/.409/.479
Tie Game: .315/.392/534
Games Within One Run: .320/.404/.534
In September & October: .327/.395/.554
Once again… Doesn’t make outs. Gets his hits. Often for extra bases.
How unrealistic are people’s expectations if this isn’t good enough? Why are we booing him for a sub-par month? Don’t you think he knows he’s gotten off to a slow start? You’re not exactly telling him something he doesn’t know. Cut it out.