Re: Good game to lose
posted at 6/15/2011 12:08 AM EDT
In Response to Good game to lose
[QUOTE]Shields was good tonight, so it didn't matter that much that Saltalamacchia couldn't handle that knuckler. Interesting that Wake threw so many pitches. But I have to comment on Youk's approach to the plate
, which is the same as it's always been. Take that first pitch, regardless. So tonight in the 1st he had Ellsbury on 3B and Gonzalez on 1B with one man out. He should have at least been expecting to swing if Shields grooved a fast ball, which he in fact did. And he did it because everyone knows that Youk rarely swings at a first pitch and certainly not at the first one he's seen in a game. Thereafter Shields threw basically trash, but good enough to strike Youk out on a changeup so far inside it almost hit Youk and certainly made him look foolish. This is at least the fourth time this year Youk has come up with a man on third and one or no outs--and he failed to drive in a run. Even Ellsbury, who got a first pitch line drive single on his second at bat, has figured out that sometimes it's OK to swing at that first pitch when it's what and where you want it. Don't mistake criticism for disliking Youk. I think he's terrific, especially when he moved back to 3B to make room for Gonzalez. He was pretty better at 1B, but he's good enough at 3B and hitting wise is a step up from most thirdbasemen in the AL--as AGon is over most firstbasemen. But his OPS and batting average are down this year, and I think he should make that one adjustment--be prepared to swing at a first pitch that is what you want.
Posted by maxbialystock
, I suggest you watch the replay of the game, if you have access.
First of all, Youk came in hitting less than .100 against Shields.
In the first frame, with runners at the corners, it's a good idea to see what Shields has working on this given night. Recall, he was wild vs. Jake.
If Youk had popped up on the first swing, we'd we getting: "How the hell can he swing at a first pitch hitting a buck against this guy???".
His approach was correct. He worked the count to 2-2, then got a meatball that he fouled back. That
was his pitch. He had a better idea of how to gauge Shield's velocity at that point. That's why baseball is a game of inches. That could have easily been a double given an inch the other way.
Hard to critique Youk's hitting. He's had a pretty nice career.