How bad was Robinson Cano?

Alex Rodriguez has received his fair share of criticism this postseason.  But for an older hitter whose career has been on the downswing for a few years at this point – Arod hit 0.272 this year, and 0.250 in the month of September – a slump isn’t that surprising. 

Robinson Cano, however, is a different story.  Cano came into the postseason batting 0.312 for the year, including 24 hits in his last 39 at bats.  In the postseason, Cano had 3 hits in 40 at bats.  How unlikely is that?   The probability of a 0.310 hitter managing 3 or fewer hits in 40 at bats is 0.0003.  To put it another way, Cano was more likely to have 23 hits or more in those 40 at bats than 3 hits or fewer.  

Cano’s not a ‘unclutch player’- he hit over 0.300 in his last three postseason series before these two.  His end of regular season performance took place in what were mostly ‘clutch’ games. Further, even after the disappointing postseason, Cano still had 27 hits in his last 79 at bats…which comes out to 0.340. Bizarre. 

As a team, the Yankees hit 0.265 in the regular season, and 0.188 in the postseason.  For a team hitting at that average during the year with 317 postseason at bats, the probability of hitting 0.188 or below is 0.0006.

Of course, its unfair to expect a team to maintain their offensive performance in the postseason, where opposition improves.  And, to the Yankees credit, three postseason wins is more than the Red Sox have had in the last four seasons combined. More importantly, without making it this far, would Arod have had the opportunity to meet his new friend?


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