There are specific moments in sports that everyone remembers. When the game is near the end, it’s a tight game, and there’s a chance to win it, that’s when the best of the best comes out of certain players. Or it could go the opposite way, the player flounders and underperforms in the game's biggest moments. These moments are when the game is decided and having the players who excel in those situations bode well for deep playoff runs.
The 2023 Phillies have a number of players that rise to the occasion and capitalize on these clutch moments evidenced by the number of comeback wins they have. The Phillies rank third in the league with 35 come-from-behind wins in 2023 and, even more impressive, eight ninth inning comeback wins which ranks first in the league. This is a vast difference from last year where they had 37 comeback wins during the entirety of the season and just five ninth inning comebacks.
Let’s take a look at who on this Phillies team performs the best under pressure in high leverage situations and who falters more often than not. To analyze, we will look at the statistics in high leverage scenarios and “Clutch” numbers from Baseball-Reference.
Most clutch players:
1. Bryce Harper
It should come as no surprise that Bryce Harper is the most clutch Phillie this year. Time after time again, he has stepped up to the plate at a big moment and has delivered. The numbers back the eye test on this one. In “Late & Close” game situations which is categorized by being in the 7th inning or later and the team being within one run or with the tying run at least on deck, he is slashing an unbelievable .397/.480/1.067. That’s mind boggling. He gets on base almost half the time in a clutch situation. With runners in scoring position and two outs he has 14 RBI which is 30% of his entire RBI total. Harper thrives in moments where he is needed the most. In games where the margin is greater than four runs, the 30-year-old hits .177/.263/469 obviously taking his foot off the pedal when the moment doesn’t call for it. Harper is the emotional leader of this team, and he surely backs up his role with his performances in the biggest of moments.