Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Season Through 6 Batters

I am not going to constantly update this blog before, during, or after every game, but one thing I have noticed during the first game of the season, is the horrible pitch selection through 2 innings - or more accurately, the lack of any kind of selection whatsoever.

Josh Beckett has had to use 16 pitches, 13 considered strikes thanks to the free swinging Rays, to collect the first 6 outs of the season.

Can someone please allow one first pitch to go past without feeling the need to take a hack at it?

So far, Iwamura was the only batter to take a strike - on the first pitch of the game, after that, all he did though, was strike out in 4 pitches.

Carl Crawford? He took a ball; then fouled one off; then on only his third pitch seen, grounds out to short.

Longoria? Fouls off the first pitch he saw, takes a ball, then proceeds to take a strike, and then strikes out swinging.

That made for a quick first inning, the second couldn't possibly be worse, could it? Not so fast my friend.

Carlos Pena gets up - the meat of the order - and, and, and - attempts to bunt, but the ball goes foul. He then fouls off the second pitch he sees, only to strike out swinging on the third pitch.

Okay, Pat Burrell is coming up, surely, he is a veteran at this point and realizes that the lineup as a whole needs to ensure Beckett works a bit, right? Well, no. All Burrell can do is fly out to center field on the FIRST PITCH that he sees.

Leaving the inning up to Matt Joyce to make Beckett finally work for his outs - problem is, Joyce also thought the first pitch he saw was a good one, and it was so good, he managed to pop up to Pedroia at second base.

Great start to the season guys. Can someone please learn the meaning of patience and make the opposing pitcher work for his outs? If the Rays can't learn this very basic concept, then they are in for a long, long season where they watch pitcher after pitcher throw 72 pitch complete games against them. By comparison, when C.C. Sabathia was taken out of the game for the Yankees yesterday, he had thrown into the 80's on his pitch count.

Dioneer Navarro steps in to lead off the third inning, takes a strike before grounding out on only his second pitch seen. I'm going to conclude this post now - hopefully sooner than later the Rays hitters can learn to take a pitch or two - especially when the opposing pitcher is in such a great rhythm, a rhythm that, thanks to lack of pitch selection, the Rays provide him with.

As I'm set to post this blog ... Gabe Gross battles 7 pitches, and earns a walk. Great at bat Gabe - now if the rest of the team can follow suit.

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