Knowing the Count?

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

    Knowing the Count?

    As I watch almost every inning of every game I have begun to wonder what many of the Sox hitters are thinking when the count is in their favor.

    I realize that they lead the league in many offensive catagories, but still they look lost at the plate far too many times when the count is a hitter's count (0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-1).  By being smarter they would be scoring even more runs and would have won last night's game easily!

    Last night I counted 15 breaking balls out of the strike zone swung at and either missed, fouled off or tapped weakly somewhere for an easy out.  Worse yet was that most of these 15 pitches were swung at by left handed hitter off a right handed pitcher.

    Perhaps Ted Williams book needs to be distributed to some of these guys with the "first rule of hitting" printed in HUGE font and even highlighted??  Crawford, especially, needs to read the 'rule' and also check out the big picture of Ted's strike zone that indicated Ted's spots in the strike zone that he hit best. In case you have never read the book by the greatest hitter of all time, the first rule states that you have to get a good ball to hit.  And, suffice to say that the breaking ball in the dirt (or even low in the strike zone) was not his best ball to hit.

    With the count in your favor there you have to have a good ball to hit and that ball should be pretty much where you want it and also the type of pitch that you want to see.   In other words, either your favorite pitch in your favorite spot.

    No one ever thinks that the breaking ball in the dirt (or low in the zone) is their "favorite" pitch so why would they swing at such a pitch when the count is in their favor?    It is hard to imagine being fooled so often in such a situation.  Swinging at this type of pitch certainly helps the opposing pitcher immensely as he now takes control of the AB by putting the hitter at a distinct disadvantage where often the pitcher comes right back with the same low breaking ball.

    Ted can't come back to teach these guys, but his book "The Science of Hitting" is still available in all local book stores.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    A thousand Amens !! And Crawford should be the first in line at the library!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from parhunter1. Show parhunter1's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    Gonzalez was pretty pitiful last night in this regard as well.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    Crawford looked pretty stupid, but guess what?  AGon didn't look much smarter.  Sometimes you gotta give the pitcher (s) some credit. 

    I think Crawford let the testerone take over during that 9th inning (?) at bat with a man on third and one out.  I mean he came out swinging and found himself 0-2 after two straight balls, one of which, the first pitch, was a curve that hit in front of the plate.  He looked exactly like what Reddick was accused of being before this year--swing first and ask questions later. 

    But Scutaro missed a bunt sign and others had their moments of failure. 

    As for Ted Williams book, it is almost a mantra for the current Red Sox organization.  They are all expected to be choosy at the plate and to wear the starter down, and most of the time they do just that. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from redsoxu571. Show redsoxu571's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    This is exactly what the Red Sox hitters (in general) do...take pitches until you get a pitch to hit, or at least help wear the pitcher down so you (and the rest of the lineup) will get pitches to hit later in the game.

    As for Crawford, you can't expect him to line up with this...he spent years as a free swinger in an organization that did not preach plate discipline (look at all of the top Rays prospects from back then...they all lack plate discipline...even Josh Hamilton is a free-swinger aside from all the awesome skills he offers). You can't expect him to put on a Red Sox jersey and suddenly change his hitting...and perhaps he slumped so badly to start the year because he tried to change? Truth be told, he's probably too established a hitter to make any major changes at this point in his career...

    This is also why it's great to develop your own hitters...you can put your organizational stamp on them. Grab guys with natural plate discipline such as Pedroia and Youkilis, and you can make them even better. And if you draft guys without natural plate discipline, such as Ellsbury and Reddick, you can make them far better at it than they would be otherwise. I'm expecting the same thing from Bryce Brentz long term...he's a fairly free swinger, but I think he'll have solid PD by the time he's major league ready.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from myaim45. Show myaim45's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    you can't score 8 runs every night. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from SpacemanEephus. Show SpacemanEephus's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    Live by the sword/die by the sword.  Yeah, they looked silly last night.  But given that this very same approach has the Sox with a league-leading OBP(by a whopping 11 points), I am going to go out on a limb and say maybe these guys don't need to change their approach at all.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    In Response to Knowing the Count?:
    [QUOTE]No one ever thinks that the breaking ball in the dirt (or low in the zone) is their "favorite" pitch so why would they swing at such a pitch when the count is in their favor?    It is hard to imagine being fooled so often in such a situation.  Swinging at this type of pitch certainly helps the opposing pitcher immensely as he now takes control of the AB by putting the hitter at a distinct disadvantage where often the pitcher comes right back with the same low breaking ball. Ted can't come back to teach these guys, but his book "The Science of Hitting" is still available in all local book stores.
    Posted by therimrattler[/QUOTE]While I would agree that Crawford's AB in the 9th was ugly and looked like a player who came to the plate with visions of the walk of dance before he stepped in, overall you have to note how the strike zone was being called last night.

    The zone was low and wide. The relievers that KC paraded in all had nasty breaking stuff that was on getting the calls. So the hitters find themselves in the course of that game defending against the low strike and it resulted in some pretty ugly looking cuts.

    A-Gon was the victim of this as his best hit ball alll night was up in his eyes and he went down on number of swing miss cuts at low breaking balls. I don't think A-Gon can be called a hitter without a plan.

    Crawford's 9th inning AB was once again pretty bad for a 29 year old veteran but I don't think 1 game is indicative of an organizational flaw by any means.  
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    In Response to Knowing the Count?:
    [QUOTE]As I watch almost every inning of every game I have begun to wonder what many of the Sox hitters are thinking when the count is in their favor. I realize that they lead the league in many offensive catagories, but still they look lost at the plate far too many times when the count is a hitter's count (0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-1).  By being smarter they would be scoring even more runs and would have won last night's game easily! Last night I counted 15 breaking balls out of the strike zone swung at and either missed, fouled off or tapped weakly somewhere for an easy out.  Worse yet was that most of these 15 pitches were swung at by left handed hitter off a right handed pitcher. Perhaps Ted Williams book needs to be distributed to some of these guys with the "first rule of hitting" printed in HUGE font and even highlighted??  Crawford, especially, needs to read the 'rule' and also check out the big picture of Ted's strike zone that indicated Ted's spots in the strike zone that he hit best. In case you have never read the book by the greatest hitter of all time, the first rule states that you have to get a good ball to hit.  And, suffice to say that the breaking ball in the dirt (or even low in the strike zone) was not his best ball to hit. With the count in your favor there you have to have a good ball to hit and that ball should be pretty much where you want it and also the type of pitch that you want to see.   In other words, either your favorite pitch in your favorite spot. No one ever thinks that the breaking ball in the dirt (or low in the zone) is their "favorite" pitch so why would they swing at such a pitch when the count is in their favor?    It is hard to imagine being fooled so often in such a situation.  Swinging at this type of pitch certainly helps the opposing pitcher immensely as he now takes control of the AB by putting the hitter at a distinct disadvantage where often the pitcher comes right back with the same low breaking ball. Ted can't come back to teach these guys, but his book "The Science of Hitting" is still available in all local book stores.
    Posted by therimrattler[/QUOTE]

    Well, while you had several minutes to write about it and possibly several more minutes to think about it, Crawford had about 0.4 seconds at most, and he was facing the pitch; you weren't. Even TW, Cobb, Hornsby and Ruth flailed at pitches on a regular basis. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    Ah, criticism about how players select which pitches to swing at.  Players on the team leading the league in just about every offensive category.  Next we'll get to see posts criticizing Beckett for throwing his curve ball too (not) often (enough).
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    Most of these posters couldnt even hit an MLB fb, never mind a nasty curve, including me...This team leads most offensive catagories, so I dont think they need a lesson in hitting from any one of us..Bad night..move on...
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from therimrattler. Show therimrattler's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    My first thoughts were not necessarily only directed at Crawford in last night's game, but he did fit into the total scheme of the game and also pretty much for the season.

    I understand (nhsteven) that Crawford and any hitter only gets a fraction of a second to make a decision, but the guys who don't swing at those pitches also only get the same fraction of a second.  For this guy (and others) this was not only a problem in last night's game.

    I fully believe that these guys can see the different spins on the ball and anyone can see in that split second that a ball is not in the upper part of the strike zone.  Putting these two things together means that they should not be swinging at low breaking balls early in the count even if a couple of these pitches get called strikes once in a while by the umpire.

    Redsoxu571, I have to disagree with your thought that a guy like Crawford cannot learn this skill of getting a good ball to swing at.  He may be trying too hard to validate his $20 million per year contract, but that does not mean that he is incapable of making this adjustment-especially when what he is doing is not working out very well (like at the beginnning of the year and certainly again last night).

    It seems that Reddick (although far from a finished product) has learned this skill in just one year to where now he looks to be a starting outfielder, hitting well in one of the better lineups in baseball and may become a quality player for years and years after taking a while to learn some plate discipline and count awareness.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Knowing the Count?

    In Response to Re: Knowing the Count?:
    [QUOTE]Live by the sword/die by the sword.  Yeah, they looked silly last night.  But given that this very same approach has the Sox with a league-leading OBP(by a whopping 11 points), I am going to go out on a limb and say maybe these guys don't need to change their approach at all.
    Posted by SpacemanEephus[/QUOTE]

    I agree.

    And sometimes a game like last night can also boil down to two things.

    1. Hitters had a bad night, which happens regardless of approach.

    2. And this probably should be No. 1, the other pitchers were just better. I forget what pitcher it was, but one of the relievers last night was nasty with the slider. He threw one on a 3-1 pitch that was ball four but the batter swung at the pitch then made an out on the next. Batters can be fooled. A lot of those sliders were out of the zone but he got them to swing and that allowed him to throw one in a situation where you wouldn't expect it. Had they been able to hold off on the sliders earlier in the count, he wouldn't have been able to throw them as much. Give the pitcher credit.
     

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