Here are Alex Rodriguez’ career “clutch” stats, through last night, via B-R.com -
|Margin> 4 R||907||1609||1411||442||99||302||158||256||.313||.387||.583||.970|
|Within 1 R||2273||5382||4582||1377||316||940||659||976||.301||.395||.569||.964|
|Within 4 R||2407||9129||7878||2357||534||1602||1020||1677||.299||.385||.562||.948|
|Within 3 R||2393||8291||7139||2135||479||1432||951||1506||.299||.388||.560||.947|
|Within 2 R||2366||7084||6071||1801||397||1205||841||1292||.297||.388||.552||.940|
|Late & Close||1082||1452||1236||335||81||263||182||295||.271||.370||.526||.896|
|2 outs RISP||1046||1315||1080||292||56||419||205||247||.270||.401||.468||.868|
As you can see, A-Rod has his best production (OPS) when his team is ahead in the game or when the game is somewhat out of hand (meaning there’s a difference in the score of five runs or more). And, A-Rod has his “worst” production in “Late & Close” situations or when there are two outs with RISP.
Note that his career numbers in “Late & Close” situations or when there are two outs with RISP are very good. It’s just that he’s so much better, production-wise, when his team is ahead in the game or when the game is somewhat out of hand. And, that’s why some probably consider him to be someone who pads his stats with garbage time production.