What if I gave you the option of two different pitchers one was 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA, the other was 10-1 with a 1.69 ERA. Who would you take? The obvious answer is the 10-1 with a 1.69 ERA. But really there is no correct answer because it is a trick question. Both of these numbers belong to C.C. Sabathia . In game 3 the ALCS C.C. Sabathia showed the world why he signed a 7-year 161 million dollar contract back in 2009. Six innings of shut out ball against one of the toughest lineups in baseball and in one of the most hitter friendly parks in baseball. That 10-1 with a 1.69 ERA, those are Sabathia’s numbers after a Yankees lose in 2017. Sabathia throughout his career has shown the ability to pick up his team when needed most, I like to say the Sabathia has the “Clutch Gene”.
In sports there are just certain players that come to mind when you say “clutch”, instantly I think of Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Micheal Jordan. These are the guys that when the lights shine brightest they perform. Sure these guys are some of the best ever to play the game, but what makes sports so amazing is the even players that can be considered mediocre or average can still have the ability to come through in times that analytically they should have no chance. Something that can’t be measure is a players ability to not only perform in the big games but make the play that no one else believed they could make.
Pablo Sandoval: World Series Career .426BA
Robert Horry: 7 NBA Championships, 4 game winning shots http://uproxx.com/dimemag/robert-horrys-top-10-clutch-plays/3/
Eli Manning: 8-4 Two Superbowls
Three players that are statistically not hall of famers but find ways to out perform better players. These are the type of players that will never have statues outside of of stadium. They will most likely never be considered the best in the game at any point, but they perform at the highest level possible when their team needs them.
In a sports world that is so statistically driven, this is a lost commodity. There is no way to scout the clutch gene. You either have it or you don’t. I picked the Astros in 6 games in the ALCS and I will stay with that pick but in game 3 of the ALCS C.C. Sabathia showed that even if the team on the other side has more ability, more depth and momentum, one person can change all of that with the ability to shine when needed.