Clemson Baseball

Clemson Baseball - Inside the Numbers

March 27, 2018

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Over the weekend, amidst talk of the Clemson basketball's potentially historic run, the Tiger baseball team accomplished something only one other ACC team has since 2015 - win a series in Louisville.

In many ways it was a remarkable series win - Clemson's team batting average dropped 10 points over the three games, Seth Beer was 1 for the series with 0 RBI and the Tigers only scored 8 runs total over three games.  Yet, with good starting pitching, some timely relief and a clutch hit or two came away with two wins.

There has to be concern about the Tiger bats, especially against ACC competition. In Clemson's last two ACC series the Tigers have totaled 13 runs in 6 games. 


It was a good series for conference purposes, but the weekend in Louisville was good for another reason: Two quality wins on the road against a team that will almost certainly finish higher than it's current 56 RPI ranking. 

Record RPI SOS RPI 1-50 RPI 51-100 RPI 101-150 RPI 151-297
18-6 7 8 3-4 6-1 3-1 6-0

Tale of the Tape

Furman has an alarming ERA of 6.20, but the offensive numbers for the Paladins are comparable to Clemson's and the Tigers can't afford another mid-week loss with Coastal Carolina and Georgia coming up on the mid-week schedule.

Freshman Sam Weatherly (0-0, 5.68 ERA, 1.89 WHIP in 6 1/3 innings) gets his third start of the season and his second against Furman.  Interestingly enough, since last seeing the mound in the Georgia Tech series, Weatherly has been used as a pinch-hitter (Coastal Carolina) and defensive replacement in left field (final game at Louisville).

Team Batting OBP Slugging ERA WHIP Fielding Scoring
Clemson .243 .363 .403 3.26 1.31 .977 5.6
Furman .269 .352 .400  6.20 1.74 .967 5.7

After one appearance in the Tigers first 22 games, Alex Schnell pitched in both ends of the doubleheader and came through in a crucial situation with two on and one out in the 8th inning of game 1.  Schnell struck out the one batter he faced, then gave way to Ryley Gilliam, who retired four straight and closed it by striking out the side in the 9th to earn the save.  It was an excellent job in a clutch situation for both, especially when the momentum had seemingly swung to the Cardinals.

Jacob Hennessy was "nails" on Friday, shutting down Louisville, giving up a run and five hits in 7 1/3 innings on Friday in a masterful show of pitching.


If you ever wonder why Brooks Crawford gets replaced after two times through the lineup the numbers below offer a clue.  Crawford has been good the first time through the lineup, then struggled the second time through.  

The sample size is relatively small, but Crawford's starts should be considered "Staff" days, where Crawford goes through the lineup twice and if anyone gets on base the third time through Monte Lee turns to the bullpen.

In half of Crawford's starts he's faced exactly 18 batters - twice through the lineup.


NOTE: This only measures batting average, not on base or slugging percentage.


Leading Off

Despite two hits in game 1 on Sunday, Logan Davidson is down to .263.  Monte Lee even tried Patrick Cromwell, a left-handed batter, against a left-handed pitcher in the series opener Friday.



One look at the batting averages tells you Clemson appears to be in a team-wide slump.  There's not one regular over .300 as Chris Williams leads the team at .292.  The next highest average is almost 20 points below that (Cromwell, .273) and he's in a slump, getting benched in the final game in Louisville.

Seth Beer is batting .232, Kyle Wilkie is below .200 again, while Bryce Teodosio is at .156.

Things are particularly bad against left-handed pitchers, where you find averages like Beer .094, Hawkins .133, Davidson .171, Byrd .227 and a team average of .235 vs. lefties.


Quality At Bats

This metric is calculated different ways by different teams and at times can be subjective depending on who is measuring the at-bat.  The goal was to capture as much data as possible to better understand decisions made by the coaching staff.


A catchers interference, the second this season, was the Tigers only error on the weekend as the defense was solid.

Actual vs. Expected Record

With a 4-3 win in the first game on Sunday, Clemson is now 8-2 in 1 run games on the season.  Despite winning 2 of 3 in Louisville, the Tigers were outscored 9-8 and the expected season record dropped one win from last Friday's number.

Actual Record Expected Record "Luck" Expected Season Record
18-6 16-8 +2 38-18

Upcoming Schedule

After Furman today, there's two very winnable ACC series on the horizon with a couple of top-notch mid-week games sprinkled in during early April. 

This is a portion of the ACC schedule that Clemson should make a move, add some wins to the to the left side of the ledger and take advantage of opportunities for marquee non-conference wins.  

Date Opponent Location Current Record Current RPI
3/27 Furman Fluor Field 13-11 92
3/29-3/31 Boston College Clemson 9-12 (4-5 in ACC) 85
4/3 Coastal Carolina Clemson 19-7 19
4/6-4/8 Notre Dame South Bend 10-12 (4-5 in ACC) 108
4/10 Georgia North Augusta, SC 18-6 8

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