Re: Working the count
posted at 8/21/2013 9:41 PM EDT
In response to albertct23's comment:
You say that they should change it up and part of the time swing at first pitches and at other times swing later in the count.
In response to joel49's comment:
Sox are famous for it. But right now it's killing them. Change it up. Swing at those first pitch meatballs once in a while, instead of grounding out weekly or striking out on those 0-2 and 1-2 sliders.
Have you a data bank like Bill James has and other stat gurus have to validate how often they should swing at first pitches and how often they do? Are you speaking from thousands of recorded observations and results or are you just throwing out an opinion? I myself don't have that data bank. I just try to enjoy the game.
You seem to be misunderstanding my post, albert. I did not say swing later in the count. Obviously, if you have two strikes on you, though, you have to swing the bat.
To your other point, I have no data, but I watch most every game. I know when someone is struggling, and it is to those guys I would say to stop taking the first pitch and being so predictable at every AB, especially when you are struggling as a team to score runs (which I think we can all agree has been a problem lately). Pedroia is one of those guys who has been struggling of late. Ordinarily, he is a very good two strike hitter but not lately. He has been routinely grounding out, swinging at the off speed stuff away when down in the count and rolling over into those ground outs and DP's. I think he could benefit from an occasional first pitch swing at a fastball down the middle. Coincidentally, he did swing at a first pitch today. He also moved closer to the plate today and got himself a couple of hits, so kudos to him for changing his approach today.
All I am saying is to not be so predictable. I can count on one hand the number of times Ellsbury has swung at the first pitch of a ball game. Yes, he's having a good year. But who knows? Maybe if he swung occasionally at that first pitch of a game, he could emulate Ricky Henderson with lead off HR's. If I'm a pitcher, I'm going to groove one down the middle to him every time he leads off a game. If he's going to give me an 0-1 count, I'm going to take it.