Gary “Chef” Sheffield Mashes 500th “Tater,”
Plates Tying Run, Brings on Brewer Coffey, Serves Mets’ Hunger for Victory; is only “Gravy” Compared to Reaching .500 as a Team
Sheffield Becomes 25th Man in History to Reach 500 Homer Mark
Fifth at-bat as Met Does the Trick and Guarantees Hall of Fame Status
But Fashion Wonks Want to Know: Will His Statue in “The Hall” Be Sporting a Delicious Orange and Blue Mets Uniform? Or Tasteless Pin Stripes?
Copyright 2009 Evan Pritchard
While serving to whip Willie Randolph’s Brewers, Gary Sheffield became the first man to hit a 500th homer in a Met uniform, and it was the first time any man had hit a 500th homer as his first hit for any team. It was a game-tying “tater” off of Mitch Stedder of Milwaukee, (the team that drafted “Chef” in 1986) to plate the tying run and make it 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh. The Mets, hungry for victory, then loaded the table, but the celebrated Brewer reliever, Coffey, (he’ll be hearing a lot of jokes about that) came on and was piping hot. He got two broken-bat grounders to short to end the inning. Louis Castillo made a walk-off infield single on a close play with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to score Delgado from third with the winning 5th run.
The Sheffield home run, a long shot over the left field fence, was his first hit, and first RBI as a Met. Lifetime, it was his 2615th hit, and 1634th RBI in his 8,954 at bat. That ‘s alot of ribbies, as high on the all time Major League RBI list as 500 is on the all time homer list. This RBI figure is well ahead of Delgado’s who owned 1502 rbis as of Friday’s game, and is 7 short of tying #7, Mickey Mantle. It’s interesting that newest Met Gary Sheffield hit his 500th homer and first as a Met on his fifth at-bat, because his lifetime average is to hit one homer per every 5.23 hits. In fact, he has gotten one homer for every 18 times to the plate lifetime. (actually 17.908 times)
Sheffield was helpful to his new friends in New York, serving their purposes in their struggle to pull to .500, (5-5) and received psychologically healing hugs from every player, but the longest hug came from David Wright, who had recruited him for the Mets, and now looks like a genius, at least until next week when Sheffield strikes out and kills the water cooler, thinking it the umpire.
At the moment Sheffield has a SHEF (Scoring-Hitting-Efficiency-Factor) of 1.00 and a 1.000 “Mr. Clutch” percentage as a Met, another crazy Amazine stat, which measures the ratio/percentage between hits and rbis. He has one hit and one rbi as a Met. His lifetime SHEF ratio is one rbi per every 1.6 hits. Therefore his Mr. Clutch percentage is .624; this represents the amount of the time his hits are “clutch” and produce runs.
Sheffield’s lifetime batting average is .292, not bad. We expect to see a clutch player with a “Clutch” percentage that is twice his batting average, and Sheffield’s exceeds that. Twice .292 is .584, and .624 is 40 points higher than that.
His ribbie batting average as a Met is one rbi per 5 at bats. Lifetime, Sheffield has 1634 ribbies in 8,954 at-bats, which is a ribbie ratio of one RBI per every 5.48 at bats, for a ribbie batting average of .182 lifetime.
This means that every time Sheffield has come to the plate he was more likely to knock in a run than most pitchers are likely to get a hit. Of course, Sheffield has had the good fortune to be on several teams that put a lot of men on base in front of him, the Yankees and Detroit Tigers among them. But he has seldom left those men on base.
Let’s Go 1997 Marlins!
Castillo’s speed produced the winning run, as well as an earlier run on an infield hit. But Sheffield’s historic homer, Jerry Manuel’s skillful managing, and the fine pitching of Livan Hernandez (that three-run homer by Braun was only 340 feet long, a “Pesky’s Pole” type lucky fluke!) were also huge.
All three of these players and their coach were together in 1997 wearing Florida Marlins uniforms for some reason. That team went to 92-70 for a second place wild card finish. They went on to become the first wild card team to win the World Series, a seven game “Latinofest” against the Indians.
It was old home week for these three former Marlins and their bench coach from 1997. Livan Hernandez went 9-3, with an ERA of 3.18 that year and was World Series MVP. Sheffield had 21 homers that year with 71 rbis and 111 hits. (a .639 Mr. Clutch average even then). The young Sheffield hit his first World Series homer that year, his first of six post season homers. His World Series batting average that year was .292, same as his lifetime stat. The young Castillo had 13 hits and 8 rbis (for a Mr. Clutch average of .615) on the season but did not play in the World Series. Also on that team were: Moises Alou, Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, Cliff Floyd, Al Leiter, and Bobby Bonilla, all known to occasionally model Mets fashion apparel.
It is poetic justice that Manuel as bench coach that year was on hand to witness really young Sheffield’s first Series homer as well as really old Sheffield’s 500th regular season homer. Call it fate. Let’s hope he also witnesses Sheffield’s last World Series homer this year, a walk-off seventh-game blast that clinches the first trophy for the Mets since 1986.
The Mets were not Clutch on Friday, and left the bases loaded three times, leaving 13 men on. On the good news side, Delgado was MVP for the first week of baseball, and our bullpen right now has the best record in baseball, with an ERA of 1.31, in 33 1/3 innings.
The SHEF/CLUTCH Stat
A “Mr. Clutch” player saves his hits for when it really counts. Therefore, regardless of the number of hits he has, those hits produce runs most of the time. Sacrifice plays that produce RBIs also improve one’s SHEF/CLUTCH Average. The SHEF (Scoring-Hitting-Efficiency-Factor) is the ratio between hits and RBI’s, for example, a player might have a SHEF of a run batted in for every two hits, (2.00 hpr) but expressed as an percentage, that would be a .500 “CLUTCH” (Calculated Likelihood of Upcoming Timely Clutch Hitting) average. Sheffield’s .624 lifetime Mr. Clutch Average is an example of high “clutch” performance. This is a SHEF of 1.60 hits per run (batted in)
This has nothing to do with RISP, which is one of those boring SABRE stats that we at Amazine pay no attention to. RISP does not tell you how many runs score, it only tells you that someone was out there on second or third when you got that hit. It doesn’t actually tell you they scored either. If you get a single with a man on second, you up your RISP, but may or may not bat in a run. With the SHEF/Mr. Clutch average, you get an idea of how many score each time you get a hit, and isn’t that what matters? I would be happy to mud wrestle SABRE’s immortal Bill James on national TV any time over this and other issues of no great importance.
Anyway, listed below are the lifetime SHEF/CLUTCH stats for Mets who played in Friday’s exciting game against the Brewers. Of course, Reyes as a lead-off man is handicapped in terms of RBI’s but you knew that. In fact, he has already scored 6 runs this year but has only 3 rbis in relation to 12 hits.
LIFETIME SHEF AND CLUTCH STATS
(the lower the SHEF the better, the higher the CLUTCH the better)
PLAYER SHEF CLUTCH %
1.Carlos Delgado 1.35 hpr .742
2. Ramon Castro 1.58 hpr .633
3. Gary Sheffield 1.60 hpr .624
4. Carlos Beltran 1.62 hpr .615
5. David Wright 1.68 hpr .594
6. Ryan Church 1.82 hpr .550
7. Brian Schneider 2.01 hpr .496
8. Daniel Murphy 2.52 hpr .396
9. Jose Reyes 2.97 hpr .336
10. Luis Castillo 4.34 hpr .230
PLAYER SHEF CLUTCH %
1. Carlos Delgado 1.00 hpr 1.000 (13 hits, 13 rbis)
2. Gary Sheffield 1.00 hpr 1.000
3. Ramon Castro 1.00 hpr 1.000
4. Brian Schneider 1.00 hpr 1.000
5. Carlos Beltran 1.71 hpr .583
6. Daniel Murphy 3.00 hpr .333
7. Luis Castillo 3.00 hpr .333
8. David Wright 3.25 hpr .308
9. Jose Reyes 4.00 hpr .250
10. Ryan Church 6.50 hpr .154