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First Pitch Newsbeat

Friday, June 04, 2021

Hitters are attacking 1st pitch more than ever

“I’m not going to take a first-pitch fastball now to get a guy’s pitch count up when I will get behind 0-1. That might be the only fastball that I see in that at-bat.”

As you can see, Major League hitters are increasingly likely to go after the first pitch (when it’s in the zone, anyway, because let’s not penalize anyone for accepting the gift of 1-0), and for good reason.

That good reason, of course, is the fear of getting into two-strike counts, which are the baseball version of dying on your feet. That’s where the diving sliders and curveballs in the dirt live. It’s not where you want to be. While the idea of a “fastball count” is a dying one, there’s still the truth that you’ll see a breaking or offspeed pitch 38% of the time on the first pitch, 44% of the time on all other counts, and 49% of the time on two strikes.

In 2021, hitters with two strikes are hitting all of .159/.236/.256. It’s the lowest two-strike mark on record. If you haven’t put the ball in play with zero or one strikes, you might just want to walk back to the dugout.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 02:13 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: first pitch



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