There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said ad nauseum. Almost every day we look at the lineups and have a cow or roll our eyes, but they win more often than not. I don’t think it’s the dumb, stupid, moronic lineups that are the problem. I don’t care where you hit them or in what order (well, I do care, but it’s not all that), I think hitters are going to hit… maybe not Yasiel who seems to hit best lower in the lineup.
I think the whole problem is “approach.” The Dodgers see more pitches than any team in baseball. Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez all have a great batting eye – they just can’t hit a lot of them. It’s one thing to see pitches, it’s thing entirely another to hit them. When you go up there with the idea that you are going to work the count, you are less aggressive and more defensive and then when they get 2 strikes on you, if you are aggressive, you are apt to strike out. If you are defensive, you are apt to foul off repeated pitches and make weak contact.
The lineups may be 20% of the problem, but the approach is 80% of the problem. The other day, Doc said that Cody was just “trying not to make an out.” In basketball, if you go to the foul line and try not to miss, the odds are you will. The focus needs to be on what you need to do: Make a basket! In baseball, if you go to the plate with the idea of working the count, your focus is not on getting a hit – it’s on a process. Certain type of pitchers thwart that process.
When the Dodgers hit, it seems like everyone hits and when they don’t, no one hits. The Dodgers problems are not Roberts stupid lineups, but rather, the approach which may have been fostered by FAZ, but also carried out by Turner Ward and Dave Roberts. The players should not be so concerned with working the count as they are with getting a pitch they can hit. That’s a big part of the reason Dodger pitchers like Clayton Kershaw are giving up more home runs: Players know they are trying to get ahead with a strike and they jump on the first one they see.
I am not saying that they swing at every pitch they see, but quite often, I see Joc, CT3, Yasmani, Cody and even JT watch the first pitch right down broadway… and it is sometimes the best pitch they see. You can train for this, even in batting practice: Line a dozen hitters up and you only get one pitch… and you have to swing at it. I’m not advocating swinging at the first pitch, because pitchers will get wise and adjust too, but I am advocating being ready for a pitch in “your zone” and hitting that pitch.
FAZ may have started this trend – I can’t say, but it needs to end and it will likely end with the replacement of Roberts and Ward!
- You can see Striker Buehler’s greatness – he just needs to learn how to pitch better at Coors, although he wasn’t bad. He’s developing game-by-game.
- Rich Hill has a 7.17 career ERA at Coors, so he will probably pitch a perfect game. Kidding…
- Freeland was very good last night. He deserved the win. Oberg and Ottavino were filthy.
- Brian Dozier and Matt Kemp look lost right about now. I would give both 5 days off. Maybe pinch hit in a laffer!
- Alex Verdugo looked like a rookie with the bat…
- For some reason, Dave Roberts is loathe to play Andrew Toles
- Ruiz, Jackson and Lux are all hitting over .350 in the playoffs and Tulsa plays game 5 today.
- Thomas, Rincon, Wong and Berman all hit over .300 as RC won the first round and now plays for the championship.