Clemson Baseball

Wrap it up, I'll take it: Clemson concludes regular season with Pitt trip

May 17, 2018

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For the first time since 2006 Clemson snagged regular season win number 40, a 7-2 win over Kennesaw State Tuesday, which saw freshman Mat Clark emerge as a potential 4th starter and more stellar work from the Tiger bullpen.

Over the weekend the Tigers picked up one run win number 14 on the season in thrilling fashion as Grayson Byrd walked it off (hate that term) Sunday vs. Austin Peay with a home run leading off the bottom of the 11th as Clemson continues to defy the odds and Pythagoras under Monte Lee.

Clemson in one-run games under Monte Lee
Season Wins Losses PCT
2016 14 6 .700
2017 9 4 .692
2018 14 4 .778
Total 37 14 .725


Pitt is it

Lee's club finishes the regular season with a trip north to Pittsburgh for a 3 game series with the Panthers with all of their goals in front of them, not to mention a top 8 seed potentially on the line.

The Panthers have only 1 win over a top 50 RPI team (Duke) and, as their strength of schedule attests, has generally played an easier schedule.

Team Record RPI SOS vs. Top 50 vs. 51-100 vs. 100+
Clemson 40-13 11 28 10-9 15-4 15-0
Pittsburgh 27-22 112 136 1-9 7-8 19-5


Tale of the Tape

The Panthers are a team that has a team batting average significantly less than the Tigers and are averaging only 5.3 runs per game.

Team Batting OBP Slugging ERA WHIP Fielding Scoring
Clemson .255 .374 .440 3.41 1.27 .974 6.2
Pittsburgh .240 .356 .366  4.27 1.37 .976 5.3

Until today the Tigers have had the same weekend rotation since opening day with Jacob Hennessy, Brooks Crawford, and Jake Higginbotham all getting 13 starts.  

Spencer Strider takes the hill for Clemson today and he's had a solid season, mostly out of the bullpen, and actually leads the team in strikeouts, despite only 3 starts and 41 and two-thirds innings pitched.

One of Strider's starts was a gem - 6.2 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned), with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks against a good hitting Coastal Carolina team on April 3.  He did not fare as well in his other two starts (Michigan State and Georgia).

This move does take one dependable arm out of the bullpen, but there is still depth and talent there.


This team has been marked by outstanding bullpen work, and that was no different over the weekend vs. Austin Peay:

and Tuesday in Kennesaw:

and for the season:


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


Leading Off

While the general numbers have improved at the plate there were still struggles with runners on (.174) and with runners in scoring position (.111) vs. Austin Peay.

There was an improvement with runners on Tuesday (6/19 - .316) but still struggled with runners in scoring position (2/12 - .167).

See below for detailed numbers with runners in scoring position.


Batting with RISP

Hitting for a high average is one thing, and it's obviously important to get on base, but high leverage situations are something the coaching staff pays close attention to and I've added this metric below.

Seeing these detailed numbers can assist in understanding the lineup moves made by the staff depending on the pitcher. 

As mentioned above, despite winning 3 of 4 against Austin Peay and Kennesaw State, these numbers have not been great over the last week.

Batting with RISP vs. RHP
Batting with RISP vs. LHP


Quality At Bats

This metric is calculated in 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.

Stats Overload? Check out our "Snapshot"

Too many numbers and charts?  We've created this snapshot of both batters and pitchers for easy reference, and you can dig into the detail later.


Batters Snapshot
Pitchers Snapshot


Actual vs. Expected Record

A 14-4 record in one-run games has reduced the expected win metric close to useless.  If you begin with the 38 expected wins and add the 4 "luck" wins, you come up with 42 wins.

It's important to note that the expected record doesn't look at the schedule ahead and assign wins and losses, but predicts the number of wins and losses based on runs scored and runs given up and assumes the current rate of runs scored and given up will continue through the year.

Actual Record Expected Record "Luck" Expected Season Record
40-13 36-17 +4 38-18



An RPI of 11 and 40 wins with 3 games remaining has the Tigers on the cusp of a top 8 seed.  That said, sweeping Pittsburgh is not going to help the RPI or SOS and not sweeping is likely to do significant harm, depending on how the Tigers fare in the ACC tournament. 

Record RPI SOS RPI 1-50 RPI 51-100 RPI 101-150 RPI 151-297
40-13 11 28 10-9 15-4 4-0 11-0


Upcoming Schedule

It seems like just yesterday we were happy to finally arrive on opening day and here we are with one series left in the regular season.

Date Opponent Location Current Record Current RPI
5/17-5/19 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 27-22 (11-16 in ACC) 112
5/22-5/27 ACC Tournament Durham, NC - -

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