Clutch 2019 Product Road Map (April Fool’s!)

Now that Series 1 is in the hands of Managers, we wanted to keep everyone in the loop about what the rest of the season has in store for the game of Clutch Baseball.

Update: None of the following information should be taken seriously. Happy April Fool’s day! (But if you want any of it to become reality, shout it at us from as many social media platforms as possible!)

Now that Series 1 is in the hands of Managers, we wanted to keep everyone in the loop about what the rest of the season has in store for the game of Clutch Baseball.

We’ll go into more details on these as they get closer, but here’s a quick list:

5/15: 2019’s second Limited Edition set, Generations: Centuries, a small collection of the best players from the 90’s and 00’s (1890’s and 1900’s, that is). Look for players like Amos Rusie, Kid Nichols, and Jack Glasscock along with 1/1 tobacco card variants.

6/1: Clutch Baseball Series 2, featuring 350 additional base set players consisting of any player with a major league at-bat in 2019 prior to 4/1. To play into the series “two” theme, the Pre-Order bonuses will consist of 5 two-sided player cards, including Willians Astudio (a Catcher card and a Utility card), an Emergency Pitcher card (John Ryan Murphy, whose reverse side will feature a pitcher’s chart), and a special two-sided Strategy card that can be played on Offense or Defense, but not both.

7/15: 2019 Limited Edition Set 3: The Dog Days of Summer. 4 dog-themed player cards, including Fred McGriff (with a 1/1 “Crime Dog” variant), Yasiel Pug, and a “Homer the Beagle” Strategy card — the first Mascot card produced (so far)!

9/1: 2019 Clutch Baseball Series 3, consisting of 400 addition base set player cards, including anyone expected to make their major league debut in the next three seasons. The Series 3 Pre-Order bonus will be a 5-card “Futures Game” set, featuring up and comers like Oregon State Catcher Adley Rutschman, Colleyville Heritage High School Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., and 15-year-old power hitting phenom Blaze Jordan.

11/1 2019 Limited Edition Set #4: Baha-mania! Inspired by Community Director James’ recent Honeymoon in the Bahamas, a series of 5 MLB players born in the Bahamas, including Andre Rodgers, Tony Curry, Ed Armbrister, and Wenty Ford.

We’re also pleased to announce the debut of a new product in 2020, because why should the big leagues have all the fun? This summer, take the game outside, because we’re going back…back…backyard!

Clutch Backyard Baseball 2019: Series 1 will be available on April 1st, 2020. But we’ve got a sneak preview for you today! The Backyard Baseball GOAT, Pablo Sanchez!

Hope your day is a Clutch one. 😎

World Series Recap! • Clutch “Polar Power” Online League

The Polar Power season of the Official Clutch League is in the books, capped off with a Best of 5 World Series this week that proved to be a true test of strength between Batting and Hitting. The contenders? Ryan Matthews, the #2 ranked Clutch Manager in the world, faced off against #1 ranked James Rate in a battle of Clutch Baseball titans. Let’s take a look at what led them to the World Series, and what went down once they got there.

Clutch It Up™

The Polar Power season of the Official Clutch League is in the books, capped off with a Best of 5 World Series this week that proved to be a true test of strength between Batting and Hitting. The contenders? Ryan Matthews, the #2 ranked Clutch Manager in the world, faced off against #1 ranked James Rate in a battle of Clutch Baseball titans. Let’s take a look at what led them to the World Series, and what went down once they got there.

 

Ryan led his Michigan Bombers to a 13-7 first place finish with help from League MVP Anthony Rizzo, Ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard, Detroit Stadium, and a Clutch-heavy lineup of heavy hitters that included five League-voted Silver Slugger award winners. He then marched through a difficult playoff path that included the 12-8 Boston Clam Chowda and the 12-8 Virginia Neptunes. An offensive juggernaut, Ryan escaped the first two rounds with a 5-2 record and secured his first Clutch League World Series appearance.

 

James, manager of the defending Clutch “High Heat” League World Series winners the Arizona Shade, took an unorthodox approach to team-building this season by investing heavily in Pitching (featuring a rotation of 5 elite SP’s and Trevor Hoffman to close things out) while eschewing the traditionally sought after On-Base and Defense on the hitting side of things in lieu of more Home Run opportunities and lower salaries. The strategy paid off though, resulting in a 12-8 record and James’ third consecutive Clutch League playoff berth. His 9-game postseason win streak carried over from the previous season into this one, leading to 2-0 and 3-0 sweeps of the 13-7 Vermont Monarchs and the 12-8 St. Louis Dingoes, respectively.

 

Game 1: With home field advantage in Detroit Stadium, the Bombers hosted game one against the Shade with Noah Syndergaard toeing the rubber for Michigan against Arizona’s Pedro Martinez. The Bombers kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the third when, with two runners on, MVP Anthony Rizzo padded his resume with a three-run blast off of Pedro Martinez. The Shade responded with authority in the 5th when Joey Gallo hit a grand slam to take the lead, but the lead was short-lived as the Bombers immediately responded with 3 more runs in the bottom of the 5th. The Shade would go on to tie the game again at 6-6, but a Matt Wieters sealed the win for the Bombers with a solo shot in the 7th.

Final Score: Bombers 7, Shade 6

 

Game 2: In Philadelphia Stadium for game 2, Cy Young Winner Max Scherzer hosted the Bombers lineup of lefty power bats at home, and although he pitched 8 strong innings, a Robinson Cano single in the 3rd drove in the only two runs needed to give the Bombers the win. A Kyle Schwarber solo shot in the 6th tried to start a comeback against surprise hero Michael Fulmer, but no dice.

Final Score: Bombers 2, Shade 1

 

Game 3: On the road, on the brink of elimination, Corey Kluber put the Arizona Shade on his back and put on a pitching clinic for the ages. Over 9 innings, Kluber pitched a two-hit, one walk shutout against the Bombers, who managed to get just one of their three baserunners into scoring position. On the offensive side of things, a two-run homerun and an RBI single from Joey Gallo, along with an RBI double from Matt Olson, secured the win over Julio Teheran and kept Arizona’s playoff hopes alive.

Final Score: Shade 4, Bombers 0

 

Game 4: I don’t want to spoil how this one ends, but there isn’t a game 5 listed below, is there? In a crucial game 4 matchup on the road, the Bombers made regular-season juggernaut Chris Sale (of the ASG variety) look human again. The Shade lead off the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two-run Kyle Schwarber double against Michigan starter Andrew Triggs, which activated Philadelphia’s +1 to the Losing Team’s Swing effect for the Bombers. Bryce Harper responded with a solo homer of his own off of a rare Chris Sale mistake pitch in the 3rd, but the Shade would hold their 2-1 lead until the 8th. It was there that +3 Clutch superstar Chase Headley came through in Prime Time with a two-run Upper Decker that gave the Bombers a 3-2 lead. Hoping to make quick work of the deflated Shade in the bottom of the 8th, Aroldis Chapman may have been a bit too quick, as a haphazard pitch got taken deep by Joey Gallo, who tied up the game for Arizona. In a move that will be questioned by analysts for years to come, the Shade made the call to preserve their elite closer in case of extra innings, and Luis Avilan came in to relieve Sale. Eric Thames made Arizona pay dearly for that decision, sending an errant pitch deep and giving Michigan a one-run lead going into the bottom of the final frame. Despite Rougned Odor drawing a walk and moving into scoring position, pinch-hitter Maikel Franco failed to come through in the clutch, and struck out swinging to seal the deal and deliver the Bombers their first World Series championship.

Final Score: Bombers 4, Shade 3

 

The Michigan Bombers win the

Clutch “Polar Power” World Series!

 

Congratulations to Ryan Matthews, who in addition to appearances on the Bottom of the Clutch YouTube series and the Unofficial Clutch Baseball Podcast, will be receiving a custom Clutch jersey, a variety of Limited Edition cards, and will be working along with the runner-up of the World Series to create a small set of Limited Edition player cards for future use. We hope to see him return for next season’s Official Clutch League to defend his championship against a variety of new and returning managers!

 

If you are interested in competing in a future Clutch league online, we invite you to fill out this survey and submit your name and contact information. As new leagues form, we will follow up here and on Reddit with more details, and reach out to respondents directly. The Clutch community is growing larger and larger, and we’re excited to share more exciting moments of gameplay with each and every one of you!

 

 

Click here to view the Official Clutch Manager Ratings

 

Click here to view the 2018 Official Clutch “Polar Power” League Final Standings

 

See below for a list of the 2018 Official Clutch “Polar Power” League Award Winners

 

Tyler Skaggs was robbed.

The Clutch Generations Online Tournament is Here!

It’s finally here! The Clutch Generations tournament. This tournament will be held entirely online via a dedicated Slack channel which usually plays host to the official online league. If you are interested in participating, you will be invited to the Slack and shown how to play a game there. All we ask is that you are available during the times selected on the sign-up form and that you own any card you use to play online. With that said, let’s get into the timing, format, and best of all: prizes!

It’s finally here! The Clutch Generations tournament. This tournament will be held entirely online via a dedicated Slack channel which usually plays host to the official online league. If you are interested in participating, you will be invited to the Slack and shown how to play a game there. All we ask is that you are available during the times selected on the sign-up form and that you own any card you use to play online. With that said, let’s get into the timing, format, and best of all: prizes!

 

FORMAT

Each team will feature a 20-Man Roster.

Salary Cap: 7000 points

9 Batters
3 Bench Players
3 Starting Pitchers
5 Relief/Closing Pitchers

All cards must come from the 2018 Generations set.

Each of the five bullpen spots may be filled by either a Reliever or a Closer.

The Rookie cards from the 2018 Generations set are legal.

Every team’s pitching and hitting salary totals must each be at least 2500 points.

If you need help building a team that meets these criteria, Tweet us or ask us on Reddit!

Players will be assigned to pools of 4 teams. Your opponents in these pools will be the first three preliminary games you play, played online and in order, scheduled at your convenience. We will try to pair up pools based on the availability windows they select on the sign-up form to make this as easy as possible. The top team from each pool will advance to the bracketed quarterfinals round consisting of the top 8 teams. Alternates for this pool will be chosen as well in the case that any of the top 8 teams are unavailable on the scheduled weekend. Slack onboarding and practice games should be available as soon as we reach out to entrants (or just shoot us a message and we’ll get you on there early!) All of the information in this post is subject to change based on the number of entrants as well.

 

TIMELINE

2/6-2/12 (8:00 EST): Tournament Sign-Ups Open

2/12: Tournament Entrants Announced

2/13: Tournament Rosters Due

2/13: Tournament Pools Announced

2/14-2/22: Preliminary Games (3 per entrant)

2/23: Top 8 Bracket (Best of 3) & Top 4 Semi-Finals (Best of 3)

2/24: Top 2 Finals (Best of 3)

 

PRIZES

8th-5th Place: 4 packs of 2019 Clutch Baseball Series 1

4th-3rd Place: 8 packs of 2019 Clutch Baseball Series 1

2nd Place: 12 packs of 2019 Clutch Baseball Series 1

1st Place: 1 Booster Box of 2019 Clutch Baseball Series 1

The first-place finisher will also receive an uncut sheet of Clutch Generations cards!

 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!

Good luck to all who enter, and be sure to follow along here, on all of our social media accounts, and on the Clutch Baseball subreddit for tournament news, results, and more!