As Gary “Sarge” Matthews lid-flippingly said the other day…“With the dimensions here at Citizens Bank Park…Mike Schmidt would average 50 HR’s a year!”
Watch a game today and count the number of hittable fastballs the run producers watch go by in those counts. Again, in a perfect world, the get-on-base guys would only swing with two strikes, but the thumpers need to remove the safety and pull the trigger. I wish there was a stat that told this story, what a hitter would have done had he swung at 100 more 1-0, 2-0 and 3-1 fastballs. Can you imagine it being unproductive over the course of a year? On the flip side, make the table-setter take 100 more pitches in those counts and his OBP goes up 20 points.
Hitters, look at the lineup card. If you are in the 3 through 6 hole, you are a producer of runs, an RBI guy. Listen to me, you must work for the fastball counts and be aggressive. No stat other than RBIs matters. Pitch count has no bearing on your approach. Look for a fastball and do damage. Do not, I repeat, do not be lethargic when ahead of a pitcher. There are no hitters in the Hall of Fame who “Moneyball”-ed those 1-0 fastballs.
Walks are good, walks create scoring opportunities, run up pitch counts, keep rallies alive, and help batting averages. But if you are a run producer and you go to the plate with the “Moneyball” mindset, don’t plan on hanging an MVP award in your den.
...With on OBP so important today, why hasn’t it replaced batting average as the game’s key hitting barometer?