Working the count is not working

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from M1A2. Show M1A2's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    Too bad the umpires didn't call all those strikes for Buchholz Friday night--he threw 46 strikes and 48 balls.  Squeezing some pitchers does work. 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from joel49. Show joel49's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    Thanks for posting those stats, tom-uk, and I agree that generalizations often do not stand up to scrutiny.  However, when you're going badly, you need to shake things up, and first pitch swinging would seem to be a good way to do that. 

    In today's win, Sox batters swung at several first pitch strikes (eight, I believe), with Lowrie and Gonzalez leading the way with more than once each.  The results would seem to speak for themselves.  Swinging at that first pitch seems to have helped them put wood on the ball (today anyway).  I'm not saying they should do it as a rule, only that changing it up and being less predictable can only help.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]The Yankees employ the same philosophy which is to work the count, bring up the pitch count, and aim to get the starter out of the game early. If you think that this is wrong for Boston then it is wrong for the Yankees also - as well as for many other teams. If the lineup consisted of nine Nomars then opposing pitchers would throw complete games with pitch counts of 80. Why was it a good philosophy for years to you and not is wrong? The determination of how successful this strategy is should be done by Bill James statisticians as well as whether or not it is working or not. Your perception of a problem so far may be more a factor of rusty batters, pitchers with excellent control, and your attention to details like this during a losing streak.
    Posted by pike[/QUOTE]


    See Burrito! Pike can talk baseball!!!

    Pay up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]It's not that simple; it's more of a cat & mouse game.
    Posted by nhsteven[/QUOTE]

    Of course.  The RS have always worked the count.  Everyone knows this.  It's not like opposing managers just found out this year.

    IRT specifics, last year, the RS had 452 ABs with 0-2 and 911 with a 1-2 count.  Extrapolated over 14 games, that projects to 39 0-2 and 79 1-2 counts.  Our actual 0-2 and 1-2 counts are 34 and 68.

    So we are actually getting behind in the count far less often than we did last year.

    So not only is the subject of this thread wrong, the conclusions are also wrong.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Working the count is not working : Of course.  The RS have always worked the count.  Everyone knows this.  It's not like opposing managers just found out this year. IRT specifics, last year, the RS had 452 ABs with 0-2 and 911 with a 1-2 count.  Extrapolated over 14 games, that projects to 39 0-2 and 79 1-2 counts.  Our actual 0-2 and 1-2 counts are 34 and 68. So we are actually getting behind in the count far less often than we did last year. So not only is the subject of this thread wrong, the conclusions are also wrong.
    Posted by Joebreidey[/QUOTE]

    The only thing I'd be curious about is how does it break down per batter. I don't have time to look it up now, but I'm wondering if the guys that are struggling are being too patient -- getting behind a lot by taking good pitchers -- or being too aggressive and swinging at bad pitches, which turns into easy groundouts or flyballs. I could see Youk being in the first category and Crawford being in the second, but it's just a guess.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In today's win, Sox batters swung at several first pitch strikes (eight, I believe), with Lowrie and Gonzalez leading the way with more than once each.  The results would seem to speak for themselves.

    Or you're swinging at more first pitches because the pitcher isn't any good.  It might look different, but you get behind 0-1 when pitchers throw a good first pitch, and you swing more often when the pitcher throws a bad first pitch.

    Last year, the league average was .260, while the average on swinging at the first pitch was .331.  That does not imply that you'll have a higher average by swinging at 1st pitches, only that the only time a batter goes after the first pitch is when it is very hittable.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from stormcrow7878. Show stormcrow7878's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    Bucholz wasn't squeezed.... he was wild. Drop the bias for a bit and watch that game and realize that he he was lucky to get 46 strikes in that game. He had NO command. Everytime a pitcher struggles with his control is not the fault of the umpires. It is just an easy blame for the fans, who want to think that their guy can do no wrong. Clay was missing by A LOT. It happens to every pitcher at some point. Bucholz is still gonna be an excellent pitcher, and there is no need to A: panic about a slow start(He was extremely lucky on BA on balls in play last year and there was going to be a regression there... even so, the kid can pitch) or B: Go to the tired excuse of fans from Boston to NY to St Louis to LA of blaming the umps. He pitched a terrible game, end of story.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from joel49. Show joel49's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]In today's win, Sox batters swung at several first pitch strikes (eight, I believe), with Lowrie and Gonzalez leading the way with more than once each.  The results would seem to speak for themselves . Or you're swinging at more first pitches because the pitcher isn't any good.  It might look different, but you get behind 0-1 when pitchers throw a good first pitch, and you swing more often when the pitcher throws a bad first pitch. Last year, the league average was .260, while the average on swinging at the first pitch was .331.  That does not imply that you'll have a higher average by swinging at 1st pitches, only that the only time a batter goes after the first pitch is when it is very hittable.
    Posted by Joebreidey[/QUOTE]
    But Joe, that is my very point. First you emphatically stated that the conclusions I drew in my OP were wrong, but then you post statistics above that would appear to back my hypothesis.  Maybe I neglected to say that one should go after a first pitch strike only when it is deemed "very hittable," but I thought that was implied when I stated that too many first pitch meatballs were being taken for strikes.  Am I missing something here?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from redsoxfan791. Show redsoxfan791's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Working the count is not working : That's what I always loved about Nomar. He never took a strike.
    Posted by carnie[/QUOTE]

    Yup, and he rarely took a pitch out of the zone either.  Once injuries robbed him of his ability to hit for a high average, he became an out machine.  I'm not saying that the team couldn't benefit from being a little more agressive, but taking the Nomar approach is also not the right idea for most players. 

    Also, we're talking about a 15 game sample here.  It's hardly enough to make a judgment of whether working the count is working or not.
     
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    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Working the count is not working : See Burrito! Pike can talk baseball!!! Pay up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Posted by harness[/QUOTE]

    There's a first time for everything, I suppose.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from billsrul. Show billsrul's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Working the count is not working : But Joe, that is my very point. First you emphatically stated that the conclusions I drew in my OP were wrong, but then you post statistics above that would appear to back my hypothesis.  Maybe I neglected to say that one should go after a first pitch strike only when it is deemed "very hittable," but I thought that was implied when I stated that too many first pitch meatballs were being taken for strikes.  Am I missing something here?
    Posted by joel49[/QUOTE]


    You have to be careful when looking at joes statistic.  Was the statistic saying that batters hit .331 when swinging at the first pitch? (meaning that when they hit the first pitch, they get a hit 33% of the time)  Or was he saying that batters hit .331 in at-bats when they swing at the first pitch (regardless of result).  I'm assuming the second, but clearly if that stat means the first then it's essentially irrelevant.

    And yeah,clearly you'll have a higher average when swinging at the first pitch (you have more strikes, and the best way to hit for high average is to keep strikeouts down).  But the question is more does it result in higher OBP/power.  Also, if the first pitch is right down the middle, then yes,swing.  But first-pitch outs are terrible, they allow the pitcher to work deeper into the game, and give you pitches to look at for future ABs....
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Working the count is not working : But Joe, that is my very point. First you emphatically stated that the conclusions I drew in my OP were wrong, but then you post statistics above that would appear to back my hypothesis.  Maybe I neglected to say that one should go after a first pitch strike only when it is deemed "very hittable," but I thought that was implied when I stated that too many first pitch meatballs were being taken for strikes.  Am I missing something here?
    Posted by joel49[/QUOTE]

    The stats don't support that.  They hit .343 on first pitches last year with ~ .970 OPS.  This year it is .308 with a .667 OPS.  I doubt there is any change at all, but if you had to reach a conclusion, it is still that they are swinging too much 0-0.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from joel49. Show joel49's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    Just wanted folks to take notice that since my OP on April 16th the Sox have indeed changed it up, and several of them have been swinging at first pitch strikes; everyone but Ells (who should because he's taking too many called third strikes), Pedey (who never does, but it works for him) and Scutaro (who never does and finds himself in more 0-2 and 1-2 holes than anyone on the planet).  To my delight (and disbelief) Tek joined the first pitch swing club last night with a ringing double.

    The Sox have been on a tear since becoming less predictable, having won seven of eight (five of six since my OP) with Lowrie and Gonzalez swinging at first pitches most often.  Now that they are getting into opposing pitchers' heads, they can start changing it up and working more counts as the situation presents itself.  Working the count will have its place again just as first pitch swings can continue to be a smart strategy at times.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from georom4. Show georom4's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    based on my unofficial observations, the first pitch is usually the best pitch  to hit - having said that i think all batters need a pitch or two to get their timing down and do those other quirky things to get them ready to hit the ball -  I know that when i played ball I would always look at the first pitch...then the second pitch...then the third pitch...then I would sit back down on the bench....
     
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  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from joel49. Show joel49's posts

    Re: Working the count is not working

    In Response to Re: Working the count is not working:
    [QUOTE]based on my unofficial observations, the first pitch is usually the best pitch  to hit - having said that i think all batters need a pitch or two to get their timing down and do those other quirky things to get them ready to hit the ball -  I know that when i played ball I would always look at the first pitch...then the second pitch...then the third pitch...then I would sit back down on the bench....
    Posted by georom4[/QUOTE]

    Your post just reminded me of my little league and Babe Ruth league days when my father, who coached both teams, always made me take the first pitch.  I hated that.  Maybe that is why it bothers me so.
     

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