Working the count

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

    Working the count

    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.

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

    Re: Working the count

    I've felt this for ages with Pedroia. Now you've got Nava, Middlebrooks and Drew taking first pitch heaters right down the middle. I don't mean to knock Nava, cause he's had a good year and has a fine OBP % but when he comes up with the bases full or 2 men on he's got to be more aggressive with first pitch strikes. That's when you're looking for the bases-clearing double not the long count walk.

     
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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: Working 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.



    you live by the cake and you die by the cake. On the whole, it's worked out amazingly for the team thus far. BC has assembled a lineup 1-9 that's tougher than ANY team in baseball. the Sox have 8 regulars in the top 100 in P/PA (250 PA min.) and if you include Iggy that makes 9.

     above average strikeout totals are expected with this philosophy but above average BB totals are also expected. Not to mention getting starters out of the game earlier and attacking the opponents BP which often times impacts the other team for a few games beyond that.

    Switching up their entire strategy down the home stretch is the last thing i would advise them to do. Baseball is a game of peaks and valleys. Their methodology has been proven to work in an ever-growing sample size.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from JimfromFlorida. Show JimfromFlorida's posts

    Re: Working the count

    0-0 is not a hitters count but a count where the hitter is ahead is a hitters count as they can eliminate the pitches that they know he won't throw. That is the reason for working pitch counts and we have seen for many years the RS have had one of the top hitting teams working the counts.

    LOVE my  Red Sox, Bs, Cs, Pats and enjoy the ride every year. 

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

    Re: Working the count

    Swinging at the occasional first pitch is hardly "switching up their entire strategy."  My OP says "once in a while," mef.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xGUBMmmQWM

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: Working the count

    In response to joel49's comment:

    Swinging at the occasional first pitch is hardly "switching up their entire strategy."  My OP says "once in a while," mef.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xGUBMmmQWM




    wasn't criticizing Joel. Just offering a bit of insight as to why they don't swing at the first pitch more.

    1 pitch outs are a pitchers best friend and you gotta think that swinging at a first pitch strike leads to more outs than hits... No way MLB average on first pitch strikes is over .500

    on average, a pitcher throws ~100 pitches per start and lasts roughly 6 innings. that's 17 pitches per inning and 5.5 pitches per out. If a batter has a 10 pitch AB that ends in an out that is still productive in most situations because he made the pitcher throw more than half his "allotted" pitches for that inning for a single out.

    OTOH, if a batter swings at the first pitch and gets on base that leaves the pitcher 4.5 pitches to get his next out. Then again, if the batter has a 7 pitch AB that ends in a walk you still end up at the same place but did more "damage" to the pitcher.

    a pretty rudimentary way of explaining it but i think it got the job done. In the end, it's all about results. but considering that MLB players make an out more often than not I would prefer a grinding mentality because that means generally they are getting more "production" from their outs as opposed to an aggressive free swinger who's P/PA is in the basement.

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

    Re: Working the count

    In response to albertct23's comment:

    In response to joel49's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    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.

     



    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.  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.

     

    [/QUOTE]


    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.

     

     

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

    Re: Working the count

    I totally understand you, mef.  The Giants were a perfect example last night of how not to do it, i.e., swinging at too many first pitches and bailing out Peavy.  I think at one point they had a lead off triple and the next three batters each swung at the first pitch, all making outs. 



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xGUBMmmQWM

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Working the count

    Joel, you have brought this up before and I'm still on the same wavelength as you. The cat and mouse game that is central to baseball is between pitchers and batters. If either one becomes too predictable, it can become a weakness. Each game and each at bat needs to be taken individually. The overall philosophy of working the count is a good thing, but there should be some flexibility within that framework. Otherwise, you may be giving away the best pitch of the at bat.





    "Hold it fellows, that don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change."

    -Elvis Presley

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazyworldoftroybrown. Show crazyworldoftroybrown's posts

    Re: Working the count

    I saw on MLB Network that Miggy's Cabrera last 13 HRS, 10 have come on 1st Pitch. His BA is over .400 when he swings at first pitch.

     

    Hope the advance Scouts see this....the beast is coming soon to Fenway.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Working the count

    I was a (very mediocre) pitcher in high school, and even then, without all the  data, you knew certain batters wouldn't swing at the first pitch no matter where it is. So you threw it right down the middle (or,  in my case, tried to) and didn't care about the velocity.

    This is a different level, obviously, but I think the strategy remains the same. Pedey almost never swings at the  first  pitch and it's almost always right down the middle.

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from tomnev. Show tomnev's posts

    Re: Working the count

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

    I was a (very mediocre) pitcher in high school, and even then, without all the  data, you knew certain batters wouldn't swing at the first pitch no matter where it is. So you threw it right down the middle (or,  in my case, tried to) and didn't care about the velocity.

    This is a different level, obviously, but I think the strategy remains the same. Pedey almost never swings at the  first  pitch and it's almost always right down the middle.

     



    It may be the case that Pedey downt swing at the first pitch, but statistically it doesnt seem to matter...this year he is hitting .304(7 for 23) when swinging at the first pitch. .314 when in an 0-1 count, .303 when in a 1-0 count and .302 when in a 0-2 count.....and .294 Overall.....so taking that first pitch strike hasnt seemed to make any difference.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Working the count

    In response to tomnev's comment:


    It may be the case that Pedey downt swing at the first pitch, but statistically it doesnt seem to matter...this year he is hitting .304(7 for 23) when swinging at the first pitch. .314 when in an 0-1 count, .303 when in a 1-0 count and .302 when in a 0-2 count.....and .294 Overall.....so taking that first pitch strike hasnt seemed to make any difference.


    Good research. And, oddly, .154 with a 2-0 count. Go figure that one.

    Pedroia was a bad example for me to use because he's a disciplined hitter. 

     

     

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

    Re: Working the count

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    Joel, you have brought this up before and I'm still on the same wavelength as you. The cat and mouse game that is central to baseball is between pitchers and batters. If either one becomes too predictable, it can become a weakness. Each game and each at bat needs to be taken individually. The overall philosophy of working the count is a good thing, but there should be some flexibility within that framework. Otherwise, you may be giving away the best pitch of the at bat.





    "Hold it fellows, that don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change."

    -Elvis Presley

     

    Guilty as charged, David.  It's my pet peeve.  I've probably brought it up once per season over the last three.  I like your Elvis tag.  That's from "Milkcow Blues Boogie," right?  I had the 45 as a kid ... flip side, "You're a Heartbreaker."  The things this old brain remembers.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazyworldoftroybrown. Show crazyworldoftroybrown's posts

    Re: Working the count

    Cabrera is hitting close to .500 on 1st pitch. .481 Holy smokes. I think if best hitter in game uses this philosophy, might be good idea once in a while.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Working the count

    In response to joel49's comment:

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    Joel, you have brought this up before and I'm still on the same wavelength as you. The cat and mouse game that is central to baseball is between pitchers and batters. If either one becomes too predictable, it can become a weakness. Each game and each at bat needs to be taken individually. The overall philosophy of working the count is a good thing, but there should be some flexibility within that framework. Otherwise, you may be giving away the best pitch of the at bat.





    "Hold it fellows, that don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change."

    -Elvis Presley

     

     

     

    Guilty as charged, David.  It's my pet peeve.  I've probably brought it up once per season over the last three.  I like your Elvis tag.  That's from "Milkcow Blues Boogie," right?  I had the 45 as a kid ... flip side, "You're a Heartbreaker."  The things this old brain remembers.

    [/QUOTE]

    Hey, you're ok. Not only do you have good baseball ideas but you're a Presley fan too. Cool! Yes, you remember your Elvis Presley perfectly. That's the kind of stuff that stays in my old brain too.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoUconn13. Show GoUconn13's posts

    Re: Working the count

    They are the top three offense team in MLB.  Why worry about the counts???   It is probably better off to try to hit the first pitch than trying to hit the ball with two strikes with one ball or two balls.  

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Working the count

    Agree with mef429.   Swinging at the first pitch helps the pitcher.  The Sox have exactly one big bat but are still tied with the Tigers for the best offense in MLB.  That said, I too think occasionally going after the first pitch can help. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from S5. Show S5's posts

    Re: Working the count

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

    I was a (very mediocre) pitcher in high school, and even then, without all the  data, you knew certain batters wouldn't swing at the first pitch no matter where it is. So you threw it right down the middle (or,  in my case, tried to) and didn't care about the velocity.

    This is a different level, obviously, but I think the strategy remains the same. Pedey almost never swings at the  first  pitch and it's almost always right down the middle.

     



    Speaking as an ex-pitcher (of apparently the same caliber as LD) I can say without a doubt that pitching is easier when you're ahead on the count. That's not a big secret.  All pitchers know it, so a hitter should be looking for THEIR strike on the first pitch and if they get it, hit it.  If it's not THEIR strike, then try to work the count.

    I'm sorry... did I just spill some rocket science secret?  Smile

     
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