Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 10/22/12
Generally speaking, players not named Carlos Beltran don’t turn into different players come playoff time. That wouldn’t make any sense — it’s still regular baseball, and the things that apply in September still apply in October. Players might become slightly less effective in the playoffs, due to the increased quality of competition, but a strike-thrower will probably stay a strike-thrower and a power hitter will probably stay a power hitter. So maybe it doesn’t need to be written that Marco Scutaro has been doing an incredible job of making contact in this year’s postseason. But, aw, what the heck, we’re all here. What follows is an incomplete list of players who have one strikeout in the 2012 MLB playoffs: Mitch Moreland Jason Motte Sergio Romo Endy Chavez Marco Scutaro What a carefully-selected list of players who have barely batted, and Marco Scutaro! Indeed, Scutaro’s up to 48 postseason plate appearances, tying him for seventh-most in baseball. He’s got just the one strikeout to his name, against Edward Mujica in Game 1 of the NLCS. As a Giant in the regular season, Scutaro was an extreme contact hitter. As a Giant in the playoffs, Scutaro has been an extreme contact hitter. We have written about this before, where by “We” I mean “I”. Before, Scutaro already made contact almost all of the time. But he’s made only more contact since joining the Giants, due either to something or to nothing. What makes his postseason performance worth noting is that strikeouts tend to be more frequent in the playoffs. Some quick numbers: 2012 MLB, regular season: 19.8% strikeouts 2012 MLB, postseason: 21.9% strikeouts Giants, Sep/Oct, regular season: 17.3% strikeouts Giants, October, postseason: 20.5% strikeouts Scutaro’s teammates have had a little bit more trouble making contact, which one can only imagine comes from facing better pitchers, but Scutaro’s still been chugging along as his old reliable self. Naturally, this isn’t just about Scutaro’s ability to avoid striking out. It’s more about his ability to avoid swinging and missing. I’ve got Scutaro as having attempted 78 swings so far in this year’s playoffs. Below are .gifs I’ve prepared of all of his swings and misses out of those 78 hacks. Two. We’ve got Scutaro swinging through an offspeed pitch from Mujica over the plate on October 17, and we’ve got Scutaro swinging through an outside fastball from Adam Wainwright on October 18. All the other 76 swings have resulted in at least some form of contact with the baseball. Of those, 44 have resulted in a ball in play, 42 percent of which have been line drives. Scutaro’s postseason contact rate is just above 97 percent. That’s fitting — Scutaro’s contact rate after joining the Giants was just above 97 percent. Before that, he’d hovered in the low- to mid-90s. I don’t know if this boost is sustainable, and considering the extremity I’d say probably not, but even if it isn’t sustainable that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. No matter what happens tonight and beyond, the lingering impression of Marco Scutaro as a Giant will be that he never struck out, and when he swung, he hit the ball and he hit the ball hard. It’s such a treat for a manager to have a player like Scutaro, because players like Scutaro don’t often make managers look stupid when they dabble in strategy. Scutaro is the absolute classic number-two hitter, and I don’t know if a more classic number-two hitter has ever existed. Scutaro’s disciplined, and when he swings, he sprays. He doesn’t chase and he doesn’t get the bat knocked out of his hands. He almost never crushes a pitch, but Scutaro’s role isn’t to make outfielders explore warning tracks. He’s in there to be consistent and annoying. The Giants, of course, are thrilled to have Scutaro now, as they try to knock off the Cardinals and then win a World Series. They’re thrilled to have acquired Scutaro for such a low cost. And Scutaro’s unquestionably thrilled to be in the playoffs for just the second time in his life. But while Scutaro probably isn’t thinking about what’ll come next, one should note that he’s going to be a free agent, and he’s been doing absolute wonders for his value. After being freed from a terrible team, Scutaro’s batted 316 times for a contender and hit .355 while almost never striking out. People have noticed and people will tell his agent just how much they noticed. It turned into a good summer for Marco Scutaro. That’s led to a good fall for Marco Scutaro. And now it’s all set up to be a good winter for Marco Scutaro, no matter what happens Monday night. It’s been a good year for Marco Scutaro.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker