Sunday, August 24, 2008

Random Frustration: Why NOT swing 3-0?

When Mike Piazza was a Met, nothing would frustrate me more than his tendency to take the 0-0 pitch, 2-0 pitch, and the 3-0 pitch. Piazza was a dead red hitter in his prime and rarely swung at a bad pitch, yet it was almost a given that Mike was not going to swing. Now, I can understand why coaches would want a young or mediocre hitter to take these pitches because the odds are high that they will swing at a ball out of the zone and turn the count in the pitcher's favor. But this is Mike Piazza were talking about. As a manager, wouldn't you want your best hitter to swing the bat when odds are, he's gonna get a fastball down the chute? And if it's not perfect, coaches have to have trust that the hitter won't swing. As a fan, nothing frustrates me more than watching a 3-0 pitch glide down the middle for a strike, followed by a foul ball on a pitcher's pitch, which is then followed by a swing and miss. The most hittable pitch in the entire at bat was taken for a strike. I could care less if a hitter pops the ball up on 3-0 because I want to see a hitter be aggressive and swing at the best pitch in the at bat.
(Sports Illustrated)

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