We all know there is no such thing as clutch hitting. It's been proven scientifically, by a million billion studies by a million billion sabermetricians. I know it. You know it. Brian Sabean doesn't know it, but then again there are a lot of things he doesn't know.
Why, then, is Fred Lewis so bad at hitting with RISP and 2 outs? With nobody on, he put up a very respectable line last season of .294/.365/.446. Not bad, eh?
Get a man on base, and it's a whole different story. With runners on last year: .203/.324/.305. Ugly.
And it only gets worse from there. With runners in scoring position, he drops below the Mendoza line, to .186/.345/.314.
Runners in scoring position, 2 outs? Now it's just pitiful. In one of the most important hitting situations for the ballclub, he posted a .156/.341/.375. Really? Tim Lincecum hit .152 last year. Matt Cain hit .150. Noted sluggers John Maine, Cole Hamels, and Jordan Zimmerman hit .148. And yes, I know, batting average doesn't matter all that much, and it doesn't tell the whole story, but it does say something.
So why can this possibly be? If there's no such thing as clutch hitting (and I'm willing to trust people way smarter than I am in agreeing that there isn't), how is it possible that Fred Lewis, on the whole a reasonably decent hitter, turns into Doug Davis (.159) with 2 outs and ducks on the pond? Is it possible that there is no clutch hitting, but such a thing as un-clutch hitting? If so, wouldn't hitters that aren't "un-clutch" be clutch, as they are better in comparison to "un-clutch" hitters in clutch hitting situations? What is going on here?