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Thread: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

  1. #1
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    I was watching Lieber pitch tonight and noticing how he seemingly refused to move the ball off the plate. He pounded the zone with stirkes and induced contact early in the ABs. When Reds batters tried to take pitches (as Felipe Lopez did in his first two ABs), they quickly found themselves behind on called strikes.

    It got me thinking -- the Reds thrive on patience at the plate, and they seem to get all sorts of confused when the opposing pitcher doesn't let them take pitches and work the count. So, I went and picked out the last few losses that've been hung on the Reds with low run totals:

    5/13 (0 runs): John Lieber: 0 walks (0 total for the game)
    5/5 (1 run) Brandon Webb: 0 walks (0 total)
    5/3 (0 runs) Jeff Francis: 1 walk (2 total)
    4/22 (0 runs) David Bush: 2 walks (2 total)

    The common theme in all these games, especially the last two, are pitchers that pound the zone with strikes and don't let the Reds sit back and remain patient.

    Now, how about a couple games where Reds dominated the opposing pitching:

    5/10 (9 runs): Livan Hernandez: 4 walks (9 total)
    5/7 (9 runs): Orlando Hernandez: 4 walks (5 total)
    5/4 (7 runs): Josh Fogg: 5 walks (7 total)
    4/23 (11 runs): Doug Davis: 9 walks (13 total)

    You want to know the problems with the Reds offense? Look at the number of batters taking free passes vs. the number of batters hacking away early in the count. If opposing pitchers want a blueprint on beating the Reds, it starts with not beating themselves.
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  3. #2
    Member The Baumer's Avatar
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    The common theme IMO is that the Reds are fouling off the pitches they are supposed to put in play, taking too many strikes, and swinging at low junk in the dirt.

  4. #3
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    Exactly.

    The Reds depend on walks to produce runs. When they face pitcher that throw stikes they are doomed. Look at the history this year. When they don't get help they suck.
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  5. #4
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2001MUgrad
    Exactly.

    The Reds depend on walks to produce runs.
    What team doesn't?

    Are you contending that they are overly relying on the BB to the detriment of the offense?

    So you're saying they need to sacrifice some of that high team OB% for a little more free swinging?

    I keep getting all types of mixed signals from this forum.

    I hear guys complaining about the Reds swinging at the first pitch (which alot of times is the best pitch), and that they should take a pitch or two (make the pitcher work).

    Then I hear they are taking too many pitches.

    This offense was on fire in April, and no one could expect them to keep producing runs (around 7/game) like they were. They are a good offense, but just came back to earth somewhat.

    Lieber threw a gem at us last night.

    The ones who ought to be shaking their heads are the Phillies who couldn't hit Williams, and allowed him to go into the 9th only down 1-0.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    I agree with what CE said, and I don't think that is a big duh. But it does need to be taken one step further. A pitcher who pounds the zone has been successful when he is also doing the age old pitching success concepts known as keeping the ball on the corners and keeping the ball down.

    Where I have seen the Reds failing in such instances is that they fail to make the in-game adjustment to counter the scouting report. A good example is Griffey's hit last night. Lieber dropped a good fastball on him, one that he had success with all night, about knee high on the outside corner. Whereas Lopez, et al were standing there watching that pitch and getting behind in the count, Griffey went with the pitch.

    That seems to be the next step in the maturation process of the young hitters--the ability to tailor their approach to take what the pitcher is giving on any given night. Lieber was taking great liberty on the outside corner to get ahead in the count and rarely, if ever, coming inside. So, scootch up a little bit and take it to the opposite field.
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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    I just don't think that the Reds hitters are as good as some of their numbers might make them look because they have such a tough time against good pitchers. So their defense and especially pitching will be crucial for them game after game.

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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    I agree with what CE said, and I don't think that is a big duh. But it does need to be taken one step further. A pitcher who pounds the zone has been successful when he is also doing the age old pitching success concepts known as keeping the ball on the corners and keeping the ball down.

    Where I have seen the Reds failing in such instances is that they fail to make the in-game adjustment to counter the scouting report. A good example is Griffey's hit last night. Lieber dropped a good fastball on him, one that he had success with all night, about knee high on the outside corner. Whereas Lopez, et al were standing there watching that pitch and getting behind in the count, Griffey went with the pitch.

    That seems to be the next step in the maturation process of the young hitters--the ability to tailor their approach to take what the pitcher is giving on any given night. Lieber was taking great liberty on the outside corner to get ahead in the count and rarely, if ever, coming inside. So, scootch up a little bit and take it to the opposite field.
    Really good post, traderumor. The ability to make adjustments during a game or even a particular at bat is what sets a good player and a great player apart. If you see that a particular pitcher is pounding the strike zone, you can't sit there with the bat on your shoulder waiting for him to go deep in the count. It just isn't going to happen, and you'll be walking back to the bat rack. If you approach the next at bat in the same way, you'll probably be on your way to 0-2.
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpringfieldFan
    I just don't think that the Reds hitters are as good as some of their numbers might make them look because they have such a tough time against good pitchers.
    Everyone has trouble against 'good pitchers'. That is why they are called 'good pitchers'.

  10. #9
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHook
    Everyone has trouble against 'good pitchers'. That is why they are called 'good pitchers'.
    True. And yet we have beaten some good ones this year too. You can't beat'em all. The offense has days, just like a pitcher will.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    I agree with GAC.

    I think the Reds would have destroyed Lieber in April. But this month their bats seem to be a tad slow or just off enough to foul off pitches that makes their eyes look like dollar coins.

    Just one of those streaks where the ball looks like a BB rather than a beachball.

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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    Gee,l we get 10 walks and we put up lota of runs, and get no walks and struggle.

    Tell me what team doesn't?

    Baserunners means lots of runs, and the converse is true also.

    If the ball is put into play. the BIPBA shows us luck plays a large part as to whether or not those balls in play will result in hits or outs. Last night, they resulted in alot of outs. It happens. When a pitcher Lieber is on his game, he'll pitch a very good game.

  13. #12
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    I am in agreement with traderumor.
    The problem is you have a majority of young hitters who are still learning how to do the in game adjusting. They do not seem to be doing a very good job of it still. This has been going on for the last several years...... scary that they are still this good offensively.

    Lieber pitched a similiar game in the BB "era"...... where it looked like the hitters could not wait to get out of Chicago. I think Jon threw under 90 pitches in that game.

  14. #13
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    The Reds averaged 1 BB every 7 ab's in April, this month it's been 1 every 9.34 ab's.

    Add that to a 20 point drop in batting avaerage and you get less baserunners per game, throw in a 70 point drop in slugging percentage and you get the current situation.

    However this is using 1/2 the data of May compared to all April (402 ab's to 850 ab's) The Reds aren't hitting the ball hard or not at someone, less baserunners from walks and diminished BA means less pitchers pitching from the stretch, meaning less pressure on the defense and a net result of less runs per game.. the Reds are first in the league in Runs and are pace for 831.

    But their leadoff hitter have to improve on this .233/.354/.288/.642 that's only good for 12th in the league in ops (but 4th in ob%) while the OB is good and prefered, the slugging percentage tells me that it's fueled on walks (1st with 23, 13th in hits, no HR's no 3b's) That has to improve.

  15. #14
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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    This is why it was important for this club to get Griffey back--he's an excellent "hard-contact" hitter. No one on this club hits strikes better than Griffey. And yet he's patient enough not to ground out on every strike he sees.

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    Re: Wanna shut down the Reds? Throw strikes.

    GAC and Traderumor have pretty much summed it up. Good work guys.

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