Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fundamentals of Pitching

I know that times have changed in Major League Baseball. Just about everybody is buddy buddy with everyone from the other teams. There's the World Baseball Classic that draws players together where friendships are developed such as Yankee Derek Jeter and Red Sox Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. Or, players share the same agent and have developed relationships through their agent.

In the old days, if a batter was feasting on a pitching staff, you could bet your life savings that that batter would be knocked down in the batter's box. Either a pitch would drill him in the back or ribs or some of the more hot headed pitchers would put one on under the batter's chin. The idea being for the pitching staff to not let the batter get too comfortable in the batter's box. You don't want that batter thinking he can lean over and and "own" the outside corner.

Some Red Sox were offended that Jason Bay got drilled in the back by the Yankees Joba Chamberlain after Bay hit the game winning HR the night before and homered the next day vs. Joba. I wasn't offended. It's good baseball and part of the game.

Which brings me to my main point here: When will a Red Sox pitcher drill Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? Who will be the Sox pitcher who make him uncomfortable in the batter's box?

Entering today's game vs. the Red Sox, Longoria has played in 8 games, has 4 HR 16 RBI and is batting .394. So far, in today's game, he's 2-3 with a 2 run double.

I'm pleading for someone on the Red Sox pitching staff to hit Longoria. He's going to get on base anyway, might as well drill him in the back. Make him hurt to get on base. At least he'll only get one base, as opposed to hitting a HR or an extra base hit for an RBI. And once he's been drilled, pitch him low and away going forward. If he starts lunging over the plate, hit him again.

A pitching staff can't let a batter own them the way Longoria's been owning the Red Sox.

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