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Thread: Sacrifice Flies

  1. #1
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Sacrifice Flies

    Anyone who thinks a good hitter can't change his approach to generate a flyball in a sac fly situation should watch the replays of Chase Utley's stroke last night to tie the game.

    Is it a dying art? Definitely. Is it a part of a complete hitters game? Fewer and fewer guys shorten up or choke up and produce a compact stroke these days.

    But if you want to see a textbook example of a smart player with a complete game at the plate, watch that stroke Utley put on the ball last night.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    So you think he was trying to make an out?
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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Anyone who thinks a good hitter can't change his approach to generate a flyball in a sac fly situation should watch the replays of Chase Utley's stroke last night to tie the game.

    Is it a dying art? Definitely. Is it a part of a complete hitters game? Fewer and fewer guys shorten up or choke up and produce a compact stroke these days.

    But if you want to see a textbook example of a smart player with a complete game at the plate, watch that stroke Utley put on the ball last night.
    Was thinking the same thing when it happened!
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    So you think he was trying to make an out?
    I think there's a difference between trying to make an out and trying to make sure that your swing produces some loft. Perhaps he reduced his chances of really squaring one up and hitting a line drive, but in that situation he want to err on the side of fly-ball. We should be careful about just how much the batter influence the batter has (i.e. what's a reasonable expectation of the likelihood of converting? 25%? 50%? 75%), but there are times when it makes sense.

    Of course, managers should also realize that not every major league hitter has the ability to control his bat that much, regardless of how much they think it's a "fundamental". And stubborn insistence of making any batter take that approach in that situation is probably a bad idea. But for guys like Utley, it makes a lot of sense.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 09-29-2011 at 12:46 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  6. #5
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Chase Utley already has one of the shortest swings in baseball. He didn't really shorten his swing up at all, he just swung a little slower in trying to get the ball somewhere.

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    That stroke was nowhere near Utley's usual stroke.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Anyone who thinks a good hitter can't change his approach to generate a flyball in a sac fly situation should watch the replays of Chase Utley's stroke last night to tie the game.

    I guess that's why last night's SF doubled Utley's output this year from 1 to 2,the same number as Adam Dunn.

    He's had less than 1% of his PA's result in SF's in his career.

    I just love how some posters make sweeoing generalizations based on one PA, in a sport where there is huge flucuations based on randomness.

    Utrley threw his bat at the ball in a deperate attempt not to strike out. Good for him, he got the job done.

    But it's clear that he didn't change his approach, and obviously seldom does.

  9. #8
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    So you think he was trying to make an out?


    Nope. He shortened his swing and tried to put the ball in play in the air. Exactly what a smart player should do in that situation. It's called situational hitting, a drill that all advanced programs run a lot.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people think this is a fantasy.

    If you saw the play, I'd be very surprised if you don't agree.

    But, this is a topic that comes up from time to time and gets beat down by people who think it's not possible.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Chase Utley already has one of the shortest swings in baseball. He didn't really shorten his swing up at all, he just swung a little slower in trying to get the ball somewhere.


    Nope, it was a much shorter stroke than his usual very compact stroke.

    At least you acknowledged that he changed his approach to put the ball in play.

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  11. #10
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    I guess that's why last night's SF doubled Utley's output this year from 1 to 2,the same number as Adam Dunn.

    He's had less than 1% of his PA's result in SF's in his career.

    I just love how some posters make sweeoing generalizations based on one PA, in a sport where there is huge flucuations based on randomness.

    Utrley threw his bat at the ball in a deperate attempt not to strike out. Good for him, he got the job done.

    But it's clear that he didn't change his approach, and obviously seldom does.
    And I equally love how some posters are oblivious to things that happen, on the playing field, that have been happening for ages. I have watched guys do the same thing Utley did last night for a long, long time. I played with guys in high school and college who would tell you that they were going to hit a fly ball to get the run in from third while they were on the on deck circle. But that's OK. I kinda pity some posters who live in a fantasy world that never allowed them to experience things like RFS62 described from last nights game. Totally oblivious without a clue. Amazing.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Nope, it was a much shorter stroke than his usual very compact stroke.

    At least you acknowledged that he changed his approach to put the ball in play.

    Gorman Thomas did it.

    Shortened up that is.

    Said he's only do it with two strikes, the rest of the time he'd air it out.

  13. #12
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    I guess that's why last night's SF doubled Utley's output this year from 1 to 2,the same number as Adam Dunn.

    He's had less than 1% of his PA's result in SF's in his career.
    So do the career leaders.

    Code:
    SACRIFICE FLIES                 SF       PA     
    1    Eddie Murray                128    12817   
    2    Cal Ripken                  127    12883   
    3    Robin Yount                 123    12249   
    T4   Frank Thomas                121    10074   
    T4   Hank Aaron                  121    13940   
    T6   Ruben Sierra                120     8782   
    T6   George Brett                120    11624   
    T8   Rafael Palmeiro             119    12046   
    T8   Rusty Staub                 119    11229   
    10   Andre Dawson                118    10769

  14. #13
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY View Post
    And I equally love how some posters are oblivious to things that happen, on the playing field, that have been happening for ages. I have watched guys do the same thing Utley did last night for a long, long time. I played with guys in high school and college who would tell you that they were going to hit a fly ball to get the run in from third while they were on the on deck circle. But that's OK. I kinda pity some posters who live in a fantasy world that never allowed them to experience things like RFS62 described from last nights game. Totally oblivious without a clue. Amazing.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    It's called situational hitting, a drill that all advanced programs run a lot.
    My son's high school team practiced situational hitting at their last fall practice. It's not rocket science and advanced players can handle it. Nothing new. Been going on for years. We did the same thing when I played, and in nearly every cage session that I have with my son, we work on situational hitting. Hitting the opposite way. Hitting up the middle. Getting loft on the ball. It's far from an exact science, but some people might be surprised at how often, even young high school players, can do these things.

    I get a kick out of some of these guys. Kinda sad, actually.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
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  16. #15
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Sacrifice Flies

    High school and college baseball pitchers aren't MLB Pitchers. Mike Leake was absolutely dominant in one of the best college baseball conferences around. Like Pedro Martinez circa 1999 dominant. So far in his career, he has been a below average MLB pitcher. What some people can do against high school or college pitchers doesn't mean guys can do it against MLB pitchers. They throw harder. They throw to better spots. The change speeds better. They have pitches that move and break better. This is like the college QB who played like Tim Tebow. It won't fly in the NFL because those guys are all just that much better. I am always confused when that premise gets lost on people. Baseball is the only pro sport where the absolute best of the best draftees spend YEARS learning to play after being drafted before making it to the Majors. The game is so much better in the pros than it was in college it isn't even funny.

    Pete Rose never had more than 7 sac flies in a season. That is the guy who has some of the best bat control in the history of the game isn't it? And pitchers today are infinitely better than pitchers when he was playing. They are something that happens by accident, not by choice. If guys had the ability to place the ball where they wanted, hall of famers wouldn't fail 7 out of 10 times.
    Last edited by dougdirt; 09-29-2011 at 10:04 PM.


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