As much as I have been a fan of Pat Burrell and stuck through his bad times, I think it is probably about time to get rid of the guy who killed us down the stretch last year (if we can). Yes, he put up good overall numbers, but there seems to be something missing in his game. I don't believe in intangibles, but I do believe that certain guys aren't cut out for certain situations. There is a guy that is available to the Phillies that they can play in left field over the utter disappointment that couldn't hit with runners in scoring position for August and September. I'll post their stats and you can decide for yourself.
Both players had VERY similar years.
.258 BA .388 OBP .502 SLG .890 OPS
.281 BA .389 OBP .504 SLG .893 OPS
The replacement player put up similar rate stats, but hit for a higher average as Burrell, in his obvious wussified state, rather just walked. Ok, but how about the raw numbers?
29 HRs 80 Runs 95 RBIs 131 Ks 98 BBs in 462 ABs
32 Hrs 78 Runs 117 RBIs 160 Ks 99 BBs in 562 ABs
The replacement player put up similar numbers again, but many more RBIs. However, had Pat had as many ABs as the replacement player, he would have had 115 RBIs (and more of the other counting stats too). So, these two players look very similar still, but here is where we see a HUGE difference. The clutch factor.
Nobody on: .857 OPS
Runners on: .918 OPS
Scoring position: .722 OPS
Scoring Position and 2 outs: .619 OPS
Nobody on: .849 OPS
Runners on: .931 OPS
Scoring position: 1.027 OPS
Scoring Position and 2 outs: 1.119 OPS
As you see, the replacement player SHINED with runners in scoring position and especially with 2 outs. While the overall numbers remained pretty much identical, I am SURE that if this replacement player played for the Phillies instead of Pat Burrell, you'd see an even MORE monster season. Right?
Wait...I just realized...that replacement player IS Pat Burrell. Pat Burrell from 2005! We DO in fact have that clutch player, don't we?
As much as Pat was clutch 2 years ago, he was just as unclutch this past year. What does that mean? I really don't know other than a homer with a man on first scores 2 runs just like a homer with a man on third. Could have Pat lost his edge? Sure. Anything is possible. It is much more likely that Pat just swung at the wrong pitches (or didn't swing at the right ones) in clutch situations more than he did the previous year. This appears to be exactly the case that the word ANOMOLY was created for.
Yes, Pat can be very frustrating, as can any player that fails with runners in scoring position. We want them all to score and when they don't, it is easy to pick on one target. I expect Pat bounces back to the mean next year, and if he does, he'll have a monster season.