The St. Louis Cardinals have made the postseason 32 times in its 132-season history. Many players have had amazing performances in the playoffs. From Lance Berkman and David Freese in the 2011 playoffs, to Albert Pujols smoking three home runs in the same season, to Chris Carpenter going toe-to-toe with Roy Halladay in 2011 (I miss the 2011 season), way back to Bob Gibson being a workhorse throughout his postseason career, Cardinals' lore is littered with dominant performances in the playoffs.
Many of the Cardinals' players have been "clutch", both in the formal and informal way of evaluating them. Fangraphs has a statistic that they call "clutch". I recently discussed the most and least clutch players for the Cardinals from this past year. Fangraphs also added postseason clutch and Win Probability Added statistics recently. Therefore, it seemed reasonable to find the most "clutch" pitchers and hitters in the history of baseball during the postseason and see where former Cardinals rank on that list.
Fangraphs defines its clutch statistic as "how much better or worse a player does in high-leverage situations than he would have done in a context-neutral environment." A positive score indicates a player's ability to be clutch, while a negative score denotes the inverse. Most players fall between -1.0 and 1.0, and anyone above 1.0 is considered an elite clutch player.
Unsurprisingly, the Cardinals have had plenty of players who performed well at the most critical moments in a game.
Here are the Cardinals' pitchers and hitters who were the most "clutch" in all of Major League Baseball history during the playoffs.
Chris Carpenter pitched a total of 108 innings across 5 postseasons for the Cardinals. He had an ERA of 3.00, a WHIP of 1.296, and had a 10-4 record in 18 starts. Carpenter pitched in some of the biggest games between 2005 and 2012 for the Cardinals in the postseason, most notably in 2011. According to Fangraphs' Clutch stat, Carpenter is the 7th most clutch starting pitcher in all of baseball history. Carpenter's clutch value is 0.57, only .35 behind the leading pitcher, Jon Lester.
Ah, the famed Mitchell Boggs. Boggs played a total of 6 seasons in the majors, most of which were played with the Cardinals. He was a reliever for his entire career, and he provided solid support for the starting pitchers. In the playoffs, Boggs experienced a rollercoaster of success and lack thereof. In 16.1 innings, Boggs has a 3.86 ERA, 1.592 WHIP, and struck out 11 batters. Boggs's star shined most brightly in the 2012 playoffs where he pitched 7.2 innings and allowed only 2 runs. Boggs's clutch figure throughout the postseason ranks 21st among all relievers at 0.47. He stands only .55 points behind the leader, Ryan Pressly.