Author Topic: GAME #144, OAKLAND A'S AT BOSTON RED SOX  (Read 4469 times)

Offline MongoLikeSox

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Re: GAME #144, OAKLAND A'S AT BOSTON RED SOX
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2017, 07:00:04 AM »
I've been bitching and moaning all year long about the sox players being way too eager and undisciplined at the plate with their swings. Vaz and Peddy might be the best on the team staying on the pitch and staying with the pitch from start to finish, excluding injury. 

Last night was refreshing to watch. Betts stayed on the ball very well for that opposite field shot. XB showed that good things can happen going the other way. Travis got an 'excuse me' opposite field dble inside on the fists. JBJ kept his head down on the ball. Devers scorched one to 3b with a hard grounder before that for outs. His hit was laced up the middle.

Point is, is that this is where the So need to live. Especially Betts. If he stays back and takes some opposite field shots, he's in better position to hit the ball when thrown inside. It's as simple as that, aside from the mechanics of getting there.

One hitter left to go, unless they revel in last night's success and go King Kong on us again. If it is coming together, then perfect timing call is in order. However, it does lead me to one big question. Should it take a two-man hitting coached team this long to right the ship?

Red Sox have the third lowest K% in the league.  The BB% is sixth.
meaning........

Offline ojdidit

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Re: GAME #144, OAKLAND A'S AT BOSTON RED SOX
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2017, 08:15:28 AM »
I've been bitching and moaning all year long about the sox players being way too eager and undisciplined at the plate with their swings. Vaz and Peddy might be the best on the team staying on the pitch and staying with the pitch from start to finish, excluding injury. 

Last night was refreshing to watch. Betts stayed on the ball very well for that opposite field shot. XB showed that good things can happen going the other way. Travis got an 'excuse me' opposite field dble inside on the fists. JBJ kept his head down on the ball. Devers scorched one to 3b with a hard grounder before that for outs. His hit was laced up the middle.

Point is, is that this is where the So need to live. Especially Betts. If he stays back and takes some opposite field shots, he's in better position to hit the ball when thrown inside. It's as simple as that, aside from the mechanics of getting there.

One hitter left to go, unless they revel in last night's success and go King Kong on us again. If it is coming together, then perfect timing call is in order. However, it does lead me to one big question. Should it take a two-man hitting coached team this long to right the ship?

Red Sox have the third lowest K% in the league.  The BB% is sixth.
meaning........

I think it is obvious.  This is a good disciplined team with the bat.  A great one? No.  I looked at all the contact figures and nothing jumps out as out of the ordinary. A complaint has also been a reluctance to swing that I have seen on this board.  Taking strikes right down broadway. Not true.  Nothing unusual. I did the same thing with an article a few weeks ago on popups.  I thought (as I think we all did) that the Red Sox hit into a pile of them.  They do not.  Same with DP's. I think it is all an issue with perspective.  I watch a game and my reaction is "Why do they always seem to do this?" Then I check and find out there is nothing out of the ordinary. Breaking down certain stats individually you can see changes from last season. Some of the changes are positive and some negative.  Some vary greatly season to season such as Chris Young suddenly being baffled by lefties as just one example. Another is Betts.  Why doesn't he walk more?  Why not be patient?  He is! His BB/9 is 10.9% and in 2016 it was 6.7%.  From my perception without looking at the stats I would have assumed the opposite. Another one is Bogaerts - why does he suck with men on base?  I know he does and so do you and everyone in RSN. Bogaerts hits .258 RISP, .268 with men on and .263 with no one on. He doesn't suck.  He is amazingly consistent. The "good" one is Betts with a .339 RISP with two outs. We (or most of us) think Betts is having an "off-year." Betts is a great clutch hitter and run producer.

Again - I am not being argumentive, but just showing how flawed our perceptions can be.  I constantly fall into that trap and in most instances a quick trip to one of the stats sites show otherwise more times than I feel comfortable with.

Offline MongoLikeSox

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Re: GAME #144, OAKLAND A'S AT BOSTON RED SOX
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2017, 09:21:49 AM »
The only pop-up issue I had was just Mookie, and that was only because he rarely did it. It was shicking to see when he first started hitting them.

XB's RISP average is middle of road. min 25 plate appearances w/RISP, he was something like 91st out of 230-ish. It's, in itself, a bad number only because he is supposed to be a middle line-up hitter this year. (team construction being what it is.) Now go beyond the stats early in the season when he was hitting well and remember why he was hitting well. He had at least one nagging ailment limiting him to a whole bunch of slap hitting all over the ball park. Just like last night, he stayed on the ball. He let it come to him. It's when he feels the need to be a power hitter that he starts getting out in front of the ball.

Getting out in front of the ball and getting some BBs are two different forms of plate discipline. One is managing your AB and the other is taking what is given to you when swinging. When XB and others have it in their mind to hit a dinger, they gear up for a pitch they can turn on. Inside pitch of some sort most often, and anything starting in that area looks like a grape-fruit for a brief moment. That moment ends about 1/3 way through the swing until they are feebly sweeping at some breaking pitch on or outside the zone. Now, reverse that. Say XB is staying back and not trying to cream everything. Pitch recognition goes up Patience is up. His front half is not sold out to pulling a pitch yet and he can still barrel up the ball for something up the middle or to the opposite field.

That is swing discipline. There is more to it than BB's and pitch counts. Betts was failing this for two months. Hanley is doing it now. JBJ does it big time when slumping. Pedey used to when he was younger, but he's much better at it now. It's why his slumps lasts days and not weeks. It's the big adjustment Vaz made just before getting sent down last year. Glad he kept it up for this year. AB's swing got better when he started spraying the ball all over the place. That's why everyone loves Devers. It's partially why he slumped. Moreland's footwork gets better when he just tried to keep the middle of the field in play. It's up and down the lineup.

Even our celebrated Field Manager talks about the hitters getting out in front. What does he do about it? Who knows?

We are also very fortunate that these guys can beat out double plays. Oh, and being out in front and pop-ups do not go hand in hand. Opposite, in fact. Except for maybe Betts. His confuse me. The real irony with this is that once they stop lunging out at those outside pitches due to swinging too early, the pitchers are forced to come back over the plate and home runs become reactionary swings to a pitch they were not getting until showing discipline.

Not perceptions. It's watching. 

Offline ojdidit

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Re: GAME #144, OAKLAND A'S AT BOSTON RED SOX
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2017, 12:05:42 PM »
Hitting is dictated by pitching. Getting out in front (or behind)  can certainly be the result of excellent pitching. BB% and K% are incorporated into contact (and non contact) figures certainly give you an indicator of plate discipline. That is why they are used so extensively and that is why they use that title.  Same with spray charts and they show little change in Bogaerts the last two seasons. A player may never walk or strike out and you have a clear indicator of how they hit based on everything from pitch type, speed, break and so on. The very root of shifts.

The mechanics you detailed are all part of the big picture.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 12:25:08 PM by ojdidit »

Offline ojdidit

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Re: GAME #144, OAKLAND A'S AT BOSTON RED SOX
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2017, 12:53:03 PM »
One aspect that cannot be dismissed is shifts.  Shifts have been around just about forever. Use to be simple curve/fastball/change and signals are passed around and a few steps are taken.  That is still the bulk of shifts, but the refinement is downright obscene. The average number of pages a manager receives before a game is about 60 just loaded with all the metrics. The Red Sox do this high-end. Batters are getting the blowback. I have seen numerous articles on this in Prospectus and Fangraphs makes me dizzy and my eyes gloss over. Another outcome is pitching itself.  The other night I watched someone come into a game.  Just a kid call up with no great arm or up in lights talent.  This SOB went 3-0 and then tossed two changeups!  WTF!  Then he tossed a curve. Good luck on guessing.