Throw Strikes!

April 17, 2010 – 10:28 am

Throw Strikes!NYY 5, Texas 1. Looks like CC Sabathia learned a good lesson on pitch count from his last start — if your manager insists on following arbitrary rules about pitch counts, make it a non-issue by just throwing nothing but strikes and daring the batters to do something with pitches over the plate. Over six innings CC missed the strike zone on only 15 pitches, a big reason why he only needed 73 total pitches to get through six. He didn’t go to a three-ball count on a single hitter, and 13 of the 22 batters he faced didn’t see a single pitch out of the strike zone. And what did the Ranger hitters do with all those pitches in the zone? A measly one run on three hits.

I’ve always wondered why more pitchers don’t attack the strike zone like CC did last night. So many pitchers these days are so intent on getting hitters out with pitches that are not in the zone, that the net effect is that they end up running their pitch count up and thus running themselves out of the game and turning the game over to what is inevitably mediocre-to-poor middle relievers. And in the process, they also end up walking more hitters than they should which also gets them in trouble. You would think that more teams would start adopting the Yankee style of hitting, which tends to capitalize on pitchers who try to live outside the strike zone. Just be patient, wait for a good pitch to hit, and if you don’t get it, take the walk and let the next guy in the order get the hit that drives you in. As the old saying goes, “Babe Ruth is dead — throw strikes!”

Photo: NY Daily News

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