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The Reds' Hitting Approach


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The team has good offensive numbers and leads the league in several categories, but too many times this year they could have won games by simply making a pitcher throw himself into trouble.

 

Today is another classic example. Aaron Cook has really struggled on the road this year and has trouble throwing strikes. Yet the Reds go up there swinging like they have a 3:00 reservation at Mama Rosa's Italian buffet. You simply have to let marginal pitchers pitch themselves into difficult situations and then lay the hammer down in one of those instances. The Reds simply made it way too easy on Cook, just as they have in a number of other games this year. What's wrong with making a pitcher work a little? Patience really is a virtue. I fear that if the Reds continue to let struggling pitchers off the hook by swinging early and often, it may be enough to cost them a pennant.

 

Thoughts?

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I like them swinging early because it tells me they are aggressive. Being aggressive is what has allowed them to play this well up to this point. Granted, I wish they would be a bit more patient at times but you can't argue with their offensive success up to this point. Just look at their offensive statistics and you will notice they are in the top 3 of almost every category. Until things start to take a downturn with the offense and the Reds go into a losing streak, I wouldn't change a thing in the world.

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I like them swinging early because it tells me they are aggressive. Being aggressive is what has allowed them to play this well up to this point. Granted, I wish they would be a bit more patient at times but you can't argue with their offensive success up to this point. Just look at their offensive statistics and you will notice they are in the top 3 of almost every category. Until things start to take a downturn with the offense and the Reds go into a losing streak, I wouldn't change a thing in the world.

 

But it also allows the opposing pitcher to get in a groove and not build up a large pitch count early. If you go to a lot of games you will almost always notice that the opposing pitcher's pitch count is lower than the Red's starter's count through the early innings.

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While this approach does have its drawbacks, look at how much the Reds have benefited from it thus far. I'd have more of a problem with it if were well out of the race for the division but its been this approach that has allowed the Reds to put up great offensive numbers and take the division lead. If they take a less aggressive stance, they might have the same output as before. I'd keep things as is until things change for the worse.

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I've seen many kids, college players, pros, etc. let good pitches go the first pitch because that is their approach to the late. That is, they always take the first pitch. However, sometimes the first pitch may the best one to hit! I think being aggressive and being ready to hit is essential to batters. Thats how the Reds are and especially to those early pitchers. Its paid off for them so far. A sudden change could totally transform their offense for their good or bad. Why change something thats allowed them to enjoy success as they have done so far?

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But it also allows the opposing pitcher to get in a groove and not build up a large pitch count early. If you go to a lot of games you will almost always notice that the opposing pitcher's pitch count is lower than the Red's starter's count through the early innings.

 

The Red's record is better than most of theirs too...but some don't seem to notice the positive things.

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While this approach does have its drawbacks, look at how much the Reds have benefited from it thus far. I'd have more of a problem with it if were well out of the race for the division but its been this approach that has allowed the Reds to put up great offensive numbers and take the division lead. If they take a less aggressive stance, they might have the same output as before. I'd keep things as is until things change for the worse.

 

They have benefited from it but they also been shutout 11 times. That is about a fourth of their losses. When things start going good, they panic and don't change their approach. I am telling you this team is much better than 51 wins. They could very easy be around 60 wins right now. We are just waiting on the Cardinals to nail us.

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Road record means squat. Cook wasn't struggling yesterday, whether the Reds swung at the first or fourth pitch. If they are swinging at good pitches does it really matter if it's an 0-0 count compared to 2-1 count? They rarely swing when they are completely fulled. If they are looking for a pitch and get it for a strike, swing, regardless of the count.

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Reds hitters swinging at 1st pitch....

BA/OBP/SLUG

 

Phillips....

.373/.385/.667

 

Votto...

.390/.410/.678

 

Rolen...

.333/.324/.788

 

Bruce...

.386/.378/.705

 

Gomes...

.296/.291/.500

 

 

Any other questions? Next....

 

Yeah, how many ABs does this entail for each of these guys? The numbers look real good but what is the sample size?

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Yeah, how many ABs does this entail for each of these guys? The numbers look real good but what is the sample size?

 

The sample size is obviously whenever they swing at the first pitch. What's it matter? That proves that they are far more successful swinging at the first pitch than any other pitch in the AB.

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