Games » Seattle MarinersApr28
I’ve got to confess, if I have to say ‘the Royals need to throw strikes’ 162 different ways, my vocabulary is going to come up short. Maybe if I do it as different authors:
Shakespeare: “Strike zone, strike zone, wherefore art thou strike zone?”
Dickens: “It was the best of bullpens, it was the worst of bullpens.”
Hemingway: “Throw. Strikes.”
The Royals walked five, two of them scored and they lost by one. You do the math.
Dayton Moore recently said he thought the bullpen would solidify…into what? The same guys who didn’t pitch all that great last year, are pitching not all that great this year. They are what they are. Why buy a Yugo and hope it turns into a Mercedes? (I’ve made this point to my wife on more than one occasion, but she seemed to think I had plans for self-improvement…I guess the joke’s on her.)
Anyway, I guess I need to start working on my great authors imitations, because it sure seems like this is going to come up again.
Clint Hurdle once told me if you blink your eyes twice, that’s the reaction time on a 90-mph fastball. So how are hitters deciding when to swing and when not to swing when it happens so fast?
When they take those half-cuts at the plate, waiting for the pitcher to start his windup, the smart hitters are programming their swings. “I want it right here…I want it right here…I want it right here…”. They start their swing to that zone. If the ball’s there, they finish the swing. If it’s not, they stop. Unless they have two strikes they shouldn’t try to adjust.
This is also called ‘key holing’ or ‘sitting on your pitch’. Good hitters are very selective, but when they get their pitch, they’re prepared and don’t miss.
Bad hitters appear to have no game plan, just hacking at whatever they can reach. That’s why a swing like Betancourt’s 2-0 hack in the 7th is so disappointing. That’s a count where you can afford to take a strike if it’s not what you’re looking for, but Betancourt tried to adjust to a pitch he wasn’t ready for, and hit a weak grounder to short.
This is also what happens when situational hitting suffers, like it did in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Mariners. Hitters should be looking in zones appropriate to do the job, and only swinging when they get that pitch.
2-strike hitting is a whole different animal, but I’m guessing it will come up sometime in the next 141 ball games.
We’ll talk about it then.
Podsednik’s sliding catch of a flare off Bradley.