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View Full Version : Someone Explain to Me Why....



TheBigLebowski
05-07-2006, 12:22 AM
...after Jose Valverde walks Hatteberg on 5 pitches - including 2 that reached the backstop - Kearns is up there swinging at pitch one? With a 2 run deficit? Against a guy who has a history of control problems?

BTW - He popped out. IMNSHO, he could have worked a walk out of Valverde, or found a pitch to hit.

NO reason in the world to go swinging at pitch one with a guy like that.

Austin will NEVER cross the bridge that separates stars in this league from guys who only have the potential to be stars until he stops doing stupid crap like that.

The throw that he made earlier in the game was nice. I have not forgotten it.

Patrick Bateman
05-07-2006, 12:32 AM
In some circumstances it's not a bad idea. When a pitcher is having some control problems often they will try to throw one down the middle to get back into the strike zone. It can be a good opportunity to find an easy pitch to hit. If you never swing at the 1st pitch, pitchers will be able to throw strike 1 at will with an easy chance to get ahead of the count.

It didn't work this time, but I bet if he had hit a HR you wouldn't have been pouting.

CTA513
05-07-2006, 12:33 AM
It didn't work this time, but I bet if he had hit a HR you wouldn't have been pouting.

:thumbup:

Redeye fly
05-07-2006, 12:38 AM
Dude, I know it might be a bit of a cop out and it sounds a little cheesy to say it, but it's easy to criticize and ask why he swung at the first pitch at this end. Pretty much every single major league hitter goes up there looking for that one pitch that they think they can hit hard somewhere. Austin must have thought that one pitch was the first pitch. Like Austin Kearns (another one I presume:p: ) just said, if the real Ears hits the first pitch out of the park, you're not saying he should have tried to work a walk.

TheBigLebowski
05-07-2006, 12:40 AM
In some circumstances it's not a bad idea. When a pitcher is having some control problems often they will try to throw one down the middle to get back into the strike zone. It can be a good opportunity to find an easy pitch to hit. If you never swing at the 1st pitch, pitchers will be able to throw strike 1 at will with an easy chance to get ahead of the count.

It didn't work this time, but I bet if he had hit a HR you wouldn't have been pouting.

Hey..if the prior batter walked against Greg Maddux, I would agree.

It was the bottom of the 9th, we were down by 2, and Austin was facing a guy who could not necessarily groove one even if he had it in his mind to do so.

You don't sit on a fat pitch from a guy who might not be able to give you one even if he is trying.

We needed runners. Valverde, when Austin had stepped in, had hit the backstop with two pitches. Clearly he was having control problems.

Austin waves at pitch #1. He missed it badly.

Valv's confidence increased.

We lost.

Would we not have lost if Austin had kept the bat on his shoulder until Jose threw him a strike? No one knows the answer to that question. Course, we'll never know now and, conventional baseball wisdom suggests that one should make a pitcher who seems to have lost his command throw a strike or two before swinging, especially in the 9th when down by a run or two.

CTA513
05-07-2006, 12:45 AM
Hey..if the prior batter walked against Greg Maddux, I would agree.

It was the bottom of the 9th, we were down by 2, and Austin was facing a guy who could not necessarily groove one even if he had it in his mind to do so.

You don't sit on a fat pitch from a guy who might not be able to give you one even if he is trying.

We needed runners. Valverde, when Austin had stepped in, had hit the backstop with two pitches. Clearly he was having control problems.

Austin waves at pitch #1. He missed it badly.

Valv's confidence increased.

We lost.

Would we not have lost if Austin had kept the bat on his shoulder until Jose threw him a strike? No one knows the answer to that question. Course, we'll never know now and, conventional baseball wisdom suggests that one should make a pitcher who seems to have lost his command throw a strike or two before swinging, especially in the 9th when down by a run or two.

they could have been down by 1 run if Hatteberg didnt pop out after Encarnacion hit a double in the 6th.

but that doesnt really matter, nor does the batters swinging at high pitches all day only to pop them up.

TheBigLebowski
05-07-2006, 12:52 AM
Again....Valverde, a guy with noted control issues, tosses two pitches to the backstop in the process of issuing a free pass to Hatteburg, who will never be confused with Albert Pujols.

Austin steps in and waves at the first pitch????

I acknowledge that baseball is a lot more complicated than the average fan on the street might realize but, given the setting, Austin has no business hacking at the first pitch.

Things like that can make the difference in us being mentioned on Baseball Tonight in May as a serious contender and being mentioned as a serious contender in September.

Patrick Bateman
05-07-2006, 01:08 AM
Again....Valverde, a guy with noted control issues, tosses two pitches to the backstop in the process of issuing a free pass to Hatteburg, who will never be confused with Albert Pujols.

Austin steps in and waves at the first pitch????

I acknowledge that baseball is a lot more complicated than the average fan on the street might realize but, given the setting, Austin has no business hacking at the first pitch.

Things like that can make the difference in us being mentioned on Baseball Tonight in May as a serious contender and being mentioned as a serious contender in September.

When Valverde is ahead he is nasty. If you risk giving up what may be the only hittable pitch you see in the at-bat you increase your chances of getting out. Kearns actually had a pretty good at-bat. he hit many opposite field fouls that were hit hard. The best time to get a good picth to swing at is generally the 1st picth against a guy like Valverde. I'm not saying you always swing at it, but I definitely wouldn't take the 1st pitch every time up.

TheBigLebowski
05-07-2006, 01:15 AM
When Valverde is ahead he is nasty. If you risk giving up what may be the only hittable pitch you see in the at-bat you increase your chances of getting out. Kearns actually had a pretty good at-bat. he hit many opposite field fouls that were hit hard. The best time to get a good picth to swing at is generally the 1st picth against a guy like Valverde. I'm not saying you always swing at it, but I definitely wouldn't take the 1st pitch every time up.

I agree that you do not take the first pitch every time up.

However, when your team is in need of baserunners and the leadoff hitter walked on 5 pitches (five pitches because he swung at ball one) and the pitcher who has a history of control probs airmailed two pitches to the backstop, you approach the plate with a little more discretion.

Look....we're not arguing over anything that can be changed...we're arguing over the location and damage of the spilled milk. Not saying that the discussion is not worthwhile, but I do assert that we do not have the ability to affect change in the matter and the issue we are arguing is stale.

The Baumer
05-07-2006, 01:48 AM
You have two philosophies in that situation. Take the first strike and make the pitcher get ahead, or you anticipate the pitcher grooving in that easy fastball and you get ready to hit it a long ways. Kearns chose #2 and if you watched his at bat, he fouled off a couple of hard line drives into the stands. It was a good at bat, but the pitcher won.

Keystone12
05-07-2006, 10:51 AM
Lebowski is absolutely right.

The odds of Valverde grooving a pipe shot right in there aren't even that good. You have to go up there and make him pitch to you & take till you get a strike. The fact that Kearns "waved badly" at the pitch (I didn't see it) probably means that AK was up there trying to be a hero - that he had it set in his mind to drill the first pitch if it was anywhere close. Lemme tell you, that is not the best way to get the best pitch to hit.

The best way to get a pitch to hit is to get ahead in the count and KNOW the pitcher is gonna groove one. Considering the wildness Valverde just displayed, it's obvious Kearns should've taken that pitch.

Don't chuck foolish arguments like "omg if he would of hit a homer then u wouldn't of complained". Sure, that's baseball. But the fact remains: Kearns made a bad baseball decision.

The Baumer
05-07-2006, 11:18 AM
Kearns is a major league hitter who was sitting dead read on a fastball and he got one. If it was a breaking pitch he would have let it go. If it wasn't right down the middle of the plate he would have let it go. You can't assume he went up there planning on "waving" at whatever pitch was close to the strike zone.

Blimpie
05-07-2006, 11:22 AM
Why focus on simply the first pitch of any AB? Although he eventually popped out, I thought it was a pretty decent AB by Kearns. He was being pitched away consistently and he did the only thing he could do with those pitches--went the other way with them. On the few times Valverde came inside, Austin was able to fight those off, as well.

You mentioned 'we needed runners'...I thought we had one on first in Hatteberg. Kearns was the tying run. Is he supposed to go up there taking the first 3-4 pitches? If Valverde had grooved a highly hitable first pitch and Austin was taking all the way, people would have been hanging him in effigy for not trying to drive to ball out of the ballpark.