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Article on taking pitches.


Gurgi

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Things change.

  • You get a philosophy of throwing heat down the middle, and hitters will swing early and often. Which makes sense. Who wants to be in an 0-2 count?
  • So then, the P's start throwing borderline pitches, trying to get guys to swing at balls that aren't strikes. So hitters start taking pitches like crazy. Which makes sense. Who wants to swing at pitches you can't hit properly?
  • So then, if hitters are being taught to take pitches, then P's are gonna start them off with a quick strike or two, and get them in a hole. In response, hitters will stop taking so many pitches, which makes sense.

It's just the latest thing in the never-ending battle between hitters and pitchers. However, some folks on message boards will act like it's always smart to take a bunch of pitches. It's not always smart. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, depending on what the pitcher does. This is why you need a pitcher-specific, game-specific philosophy, not a standard prefab philosophy that applies all the time.

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Things change.
  • You get a philosophy of throwing heat down the middle, and hitters will swing early and often. Which makes sense. Who wants to be in an 0-2 count?
  • So then, the P's start throwing borderline pitches, trying to get guys to swing at balls that aren't strikes. So hitters start taking pitches like crazy. Which makes sense. Who wants to swing at pitches you can't hit properly?
  • So then, if hitters are being taught to take pitches, then P's are gonna start them off with a quick strike or two, and get them in a hole. In response, hitters will stop taking so many pitches, which makes sense.

It's just the latest thing in the never-ending battle between hitters and pitchers. However, some folks on message boards will act like it's always smart to take a bunch of pitches. It's not always smart. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, depending on what the pitcher does. This is why you need a pitcher-specific, game-specific philosophy, not a standard prefab philosophy that applies all the time.

This is certainly the case.

"That's why we got beat" by Boston in the 2004 World Series, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "We had the kind of pitching staff that had to get outs outside of the strike zone, and [the Red Sox] weren't biting. . . . You get a guy who throws 95 miles per hour and has a power sinker -- he can take advantage of hitters. He can be aggressive in the strike zone and make the hitters swing the bat.

Remind anybody of a certain somebody on the O's staff?

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Things change.
  • You get a philosophy of throwing heat down the middle, and hitters will swing early and often. Which makes sense. Who wants to be in an 0-2 count?
  • So then, the P's start throwing borderline pitches, trying to get guys to swing at balls that aren't strikes. So hitters start taking pitches like crazy. Which makes sense. Who wants to swing at pitches you can't hit properly?
  • So then, if hitters are being taught to take pitches, then P's are gonna start them off with a quick strike or two, and get them in a hole. In response, hitters will stop taking so many pitches, which makes sense.

It's just the latest thing in the never-ending battle between hitters and pitchers. However, some folks on message boards will act like it's always smart to take a bunch of pitches. It's not always smart. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, depending on what the pitcher does. This is why you need a pitcher-specific, game-specific philosophy, not a standard prefab philosophy that applies all the time.

This is 100% correct. I think the cliche of being patient at the plate gets way overplayed.

You don't want to be behind on a great breaking ball pitcher because you took a hittable fastball on the first pitch.

As Rshack said, it depends on that specific pitcher. If he is struggling with his command or is getting squeezed a little then it doesn't hurt to go to the plate with the mindset that you are going to take strike one.

My minor league coach would tell our hitters all the time not to be afraid of making a bad swing on a 2 strike count. You are going to probably swing at a less than desirable pitch but don't be afraid to do so.

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If I managed I would often sign for my worst hitters to take on 3 ball counts, depending upon the situation. If a .230 hitter swings, odds are pretty good he records an out. If he takes, odds are pretty good he walks. Pitchers should always take on a 3 ball count.

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