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View Full Version : Chinks in the Bruce Armor?



TheBigLebowski
06-09-2008, 08:57 PM
I know it's like pointing out flaws in the Mona Lisa but, it bears mentioning that he appears to be developing a tendency to swing at the first pitch in each at-bat. For instance, tonight he has swung at all 4 first pitches and only one of those pitches was a strike.

We should probably go ahead and trade him now while he still has some value.

Nuxhall41
06-09-2008, 09:37 PM
The hacking is contagious on this team. I'm serious. Votto looked like a more intelligent hitter last fall and earlier this spring than he does currently as well.

tbball10
06-09-2008, 09:45 PM
he is now 5 for 5 in swinging at the first pitch, but he hammered that ball.

Blue
06-09-2008, 09:46 PM
DUSTYBALL!!!!!!!!!!!

TheBigLebowski
06-09-2008, 09:47 PM
Yep. Called it in chat. He went hacking at the first pitch. He did hit it hard, as well as the last first pitch but he is 1-5 on the night. This cannot continue. You better bet Duncan and LaRussa are planning to throw him complete crap on each first pitch until he snaps out of it.

keeganbrick
06-09-2008, 09:48 PM
Yea, I seriously hope he doesn't keep that up. We have too many in this starting line up that do that already.

Nuxhall41
06-09-2008, 10:19 PM
It is disconcerting. He really is starting to hack - consistently swinging at bad pitches - ball 3, ball 4.

I was looking forward to perhaps having 3 intelligent hitters at the top of the lineup - Hairston, Keppinger & Bruce.

ChatterRed
06-09-2008, 10:30 PM
I hate to say it, but all this blaming on Dusty is ridiculous. Mlb.com's hitting stats show the Reds with the 4th most walks in all of baseball. Geez, what do you people want?

TheBigLebowski
06-09-2008, 10:42 PM
I hate to say it, but all this blaming on Dusty is ridiculous. Mlb.com's hitting stats show the Reds with the 4th most walks in all of baseball. Geez, what do you people want?

Please quit generalizing. Only one person in this thread mentioned Dusty.

tommycash
06-09-2008, 10:57 PM
I know it's like pointing out flaws in the Mona Lisa but, it bears mentioning that he appears to be developing a tendency to swing at the first pitch in each at-bat. For instance, tonight he has swung at all 4 first pitches and only one of those pitches was a strike.

We should probably go ahead and trade him now while he still has some value.

Are you serious?

mroby85
06-09-2008, 11:00 PM
Please quit generalizing. Only one person in this thread mentioned Dusty.

I agree with him, while you may not agree, Dusty is constantly blamed on this board for everything.

ChatterRed
06-09-2008, 11:37 PM
I have my beefs with Dusty, namely his lineups........but this crud about his philosophy of hacking away just doesn't stand up when you look at all the walks this team gets.

HeatherC1212
06-09-2008, 11:43 PM
Or he could just be a rookie still learning on the job while having a few bumps along the way, especially with this being his first road trip. I'm not worried about Jay and you can almost see him making adjustments each game. This kid works so hard and I'm sure he's learning something new every single day so I'm sure he'll be fine.

levydl
06-09-2008, 11:57 PM
I agree with him, while you may not agree, Dusty is constantly blamed on this board for everything.

Dusty said in March (in an incredibly ignorant article (http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20080309/COL03/803090373/) by Daugherty) that he wants Votto and Dunn swinging more. Now, there's no way for us to know if he's telling Bruce the same thing, but he's made his hitting philosophy pretty clear in the past. It's a legitimate question.

TheBigLebowski
06-10-2008, 12:00 AM
I agree with him, while you may not agree, Dusty is constantly blamed on this board for everything.

But what does that have to do with this thread? One person threw out the "Dustyball" thing. No one else even mentioned him.

TheBigLebowski
06-10-2008, 12:00 AM
I know it's like pointing out flaws in the Mona Lisa but, it bears mentioning that he appears to be developing a tendency to swing at the first pitch in each at-bat. For instance, tonight he has swung at all 4 first pitches and only one of those pitches was a strike.

We should probably go ahead and trade him now while he still has some value.

Are you serious?


My friend, if sarcasm is that lost on you, please immerse yourself in Dennis Miller re-runs.

Ghosts of 1990
06-10-2008, 09:04 AM
First pitch is usually the best you'll see in an at bat. That doesn't change from any level.

Swinging at the first pitch is a good tendency for a good young hitter like Bruce.

Dunn would be a better hitter if he did it.

aerontg
06-10-2008, 10:08 AM
It's a good idea to swing at the first pitch, ONLY in a limited number of situations:

- the pitcher is going deep into counts and desperately needs a strike

- the scouting report isn't out on you (see Bruce)

- a bunt is expected

- the pitcher has filthy stuff that really have no chance of hitting, therefore the best chance of catching the pitcher off his rhythm is between the last guy's at-bat and your's.

levydl
06-10-2008, 11:07 AM
It's a good idea to swing at the first pitch, ONLY in a limited number of situations:

- the pitcher is going deep into counts and desperately needs a strike

- the scouting report isn't out on you (see Bruce)

- a bunt is expected

- the pitcher has filthy stuff that really have no chance of hitting, therefore the best chance of catching the pitcher off his rhythm is between the last guy's at-bat and your's.

Also when it's a situational reliever that will only be pitching to 1 or 2 batters, thus removing any incentive to wear out the pitcher.

There's also no data (at least from what I've seen) that says the first pitch is the best pitch to hit. On the whole, pitchers do not routinely throw 1st pitch strikes.

tommycash
06-10-2008, 12:03 PM
[QUOTE=tommycash;1662230]


My friend, if sarcasm is that lost on you, please immerse yourself in Dennis Miller re-runs.

Usually sarcasm is not lost on me, but in this redszone world it is hard to tell sometimes, if you know what I mean.

Homer Bailey
06-10-2008, 02:18 PM
I think the hacking philosophy is something that other teams know about. That is why the Reds draw quite a bit of walks. That is why opposing teams pitch around a lot of hitters, because they know they are likely to swing at borderline pitches, knowing the hitters don't really want to walk. I mean, look that the Reds' batting average. I don't have the numbers in front of me but it is towards the bottom of the NL if I remember right.

Just my theory.

K-GAR
06-10-2008, 03:51 PM
Every single pitcher would love to start off every at-bat ahead with a strike, while they may not throw a strike on that first pitch, you can believe they want it to be a strike (and before you try and rip me, i'm sure there are a very limited amount of pitchers who *will* throw a ball intentionally in the first pitch), but the majority of pitchers i've every played with or spoken with would love to start off every batter with a strike.

It stands to reason that first pitch is a good opportunity to get good wood on the ball. It's even similar to a 2-0 count in that you know he wants to get one over for a strike. If you aren't looking to be aggressive on that first strike you see and you get in the hole after the first pitch, you're setting yourself up to not be in control of the at-bat and be stuck hitting "his" pitch instead of yours.

If you are a young hitter and you go to the plate looking for a strike and you get that strike on the first pitch, swing away.

Now, having said that, swinging at balls out of the strike zone on the first pitch is a terrible habit to get into, you only set yourself up for failure in that AB.

If bruce wants to be a 1st *strike* hitter, i'm all for it.

Homer Bailey
06-10-2008, 03:55 PM
Every single pitcher would love to start off every at-bat ahead with a strike, while they may not throw a strike on that first pitch, you can believe they want it to be a strike (and before you try and rip me, i'm sure there are a very limited amount of pitchers who *will* throw a ball intentionally in the first pitch), but the majority of pitchers i've every played with or spoken with would love to start off every batter with a strike.

It stands to reason that first pitch is a good opportunity to get good wood on the ball. It's even similar to a 2-0 count in that you know he wants to get one over for a strike. If you aren't looking to be aggressive on that first strike you see and you get in the hole after the first pitch, you're setting yourself up to not be in control of the at-bat and be stuck hitting "his" pitch instead of yours.

If you are a young hitter and you go to the plate looking for a strike and you get that strike on the first pitch, swing away.

Now, having said that, swinging at balls out of the strike zone on the first pitch is a terrible habit to get into, you only set yourself up for failure in that AB.

If bruce wants to be a 1st *strike* hitter, i'm all for it.

Therein lies the problem. Bruce is 21 years old, facing major league pitching for the first time. What looks like a strike isn't always going to be a strike. Some of his best at bats in his first week were when he worked into hitter's counts. The "Brandon Phillips swing away approach" isn't what we need out of this youngster. Pitchers are not going to fire a first pitch fastball down the middle to Bruce, and he should know that. He should be looking to work pitchers until they make a mistake when he's at the top of the order, something he did extremely well in his first week. He has done a great job so far of hitting the pitch on the outside corner into left for a basehit, proving he can hit a pitchers pitch if he falls behind in the count.

Big Hurt
06-10-2008, 04:11 PM
I think it is, and should be, a matter of preference (comfort)for the hitter. It always drove my kids crazy (they were plate savy hitters) when they had a coach who made them hack at the first pitch. I heard an old wise coach say that you usually only get one good pitch per at bat to hit. Your job is to find that pitch and be ready. That seems true in many cases as the other pitches or balls or good pitches that you won't do much with. I have great admiration for those batters who are good mistake hitters.

ChatterRed
06-10-2008, 04:16 PM
When he first came up he was very selective and taking alot of pitches. Maybe Jay noticed that in the second week, pitchers were getting ahead in the count on him while he was taking pitches, and maybe he simply decided to be more aggressive earlier in the count, but possibly he's just missing when he swings?

Sometimes things can have a simple answer.

levydl
06-10-2008, 05:00 PM
Every single pitcher would love to start off every at-bat ahead with a strike, while they may not throw a strike on that first pitch, you can believe they want it to be a strike (and before you try and rip me, i'm sure there are a very limited amount of pitchers who *will* throw a ball intentionally in the first pitch), but the majority of pitchers i've every played with or spoken with would love to start off every batter with a strike.

It stands to reason that first pitch is a good opportunity to get good wood on the ball. It's even similar to a 2-0 count in that you know he wants to get one over for a strike. If you aren't looking to be aggressive on that first strike you see and you get in the hole after the first pitch, you're setting yourself up to not be in control of the at-bat and be stuck hitting "his" pitch instead of yours.

If you are a young hitter and you go to the plate looking for a strike and you get that strike on the first pitch, swing away.

Now, having said that, swinging at balls out of the strike zone on the first pitch is a terrible habit to get into, you only set yourself up for failure in that AB.

If bruce wants to be a 1st *strike* hitter, i'm all for it.

The more pitches you see, the more likely you are to get "your" pitch to hit. The more 1st pitches you swing at, the less likely you are to get "your" pitch.

Moreover, working the count also accomplishes other things. Starting pitchers are, by and large, better than relievers. The earlier you can get to a reliever, particularly a middle reliever, the more likely you are to score runs. Also, pitchers tend to be worse when they've thrown a bunch of pitches and are tired. The more pitches you make a pitcher throw, the more likely you are to get better pitches and score runs.

Greg Maddux always said that the 1st pitch is not nearly the most important pitch in an AB. He reserved that for the 1-1 pitch, since 1-2 vs. 2-1 is so different. The numbers bear this out.