Scorebook…again I love this back and fourth. I don’t know about you but stuff like this helps us to all learn as long as we are open minded.
As far as 0-2 counts I do not believe I ever suggested any thing as it would related to nibbling or wasting pitches. Matter of fact I know I said right out that I do not believe there is such a thing as a “wasted pitch.” Unless perhaps you have a big swinger up, it is 0-2, 1-2, you have him all amped up, he just jacked a 500 foot foul ball home run why not throw a FB high above his shoulders and see if you can get him to try and crush it.
Even in that scenario in my opinion that pitch would most definitely have a purpose behind it so in a sense it would not be a wasted pitch.
I always refer to and use the term “purpose pitch” simply because there should be a purpose behind every pitch a pitcher throws regardess of the level.
Furthermore as it pertains to your 4.5 pitches per I said earlier that if we g 0-2 we certainly do not want to get to 2-2.
In terms of college pitchers throwing strikes and compared to lets say what we would both preach to younger players in getting ahead as well as staying ahead or whatever else because I beleive it sounds as though we are on the same page there…let me better explain to perhaps clear things up.
If a college pitcher is constantly throwing first pitch strikes instead or working on the premise of throwing a strike with one of the first two pitches they are setting themselves up to perhaps get pounded.
Throwing first pitch strikes all the time at a collegiate level is not going to work out all that well many times. Then again if a certain lead off or second lead off/#9 batter is constantly taking a first pitch strike then why not go after him right away.
Addtionally speaking as it pertains to 0-2 counts and some of the posts made if at the collegiate level a pitcher is always trying to get hitters out by throwing 0-2 strikes they will be at risk for getting detected and perhaps pounded on counts they are ahead in.
As we all know giving up 0-2, 1-2, 0-1 hits is not something that is really acceptable especially in college. Therefore what I was saying is when pitchers are ahead in the counts in my opinion they should rarely work away because good hitters are looking to protect and also looking away. Now if a kid has lets say a good slidepiece with an 0-2 count why not throw it regardless of whether or not it is a strike because it very well may be he best pitch.
Transversely if again lets say in college it is a weekday non-conference game and you are throwing your #5 out there and it is an 0-2 count with limited options in terms of pitch selection why not set up the batter with lets say an un-hittable purpose pitch outside of a breaking ball, or slurve to set up say a weak straight change or fast ball outside by doubling up off the slot of the previous pitch…then again one could back door slot, inside slot or a few other options if they threw a purpose pitch on 0-2 rather then coming at them simply with the goal in mind that they need to get them out on 0-2 like someone else had mentioned.
Again nice goal but other ways (many ways) of looking at it.
As far as documentation on my approach I always preach to whatever the level of getting ahead. As a best case example for me in four seasons of fall ball and winter cage games I kept track of BA’s against specific counts for close to 1300 ABS. Now some of these were as mentioned “cage games” but our bench coach had been the Twins Equipment Manager for 37 seasons and had seen over 3000 big league games from the dugout so he was probably as qaulified as any to determine if a ball hit in the cage was perhaps indeed a hit or not…here are the numbers
0-0 .264…we were an aggressive first pitch hitting team
A good friend of mine use to coach at Washington University and he provided to me the following chart for three complete seasons there…note the very similar correlations between counts on both charts.
As far as the distinct difference in average between the two at 3-1, 1-0 and 2-0 counts my opinion is pitchers at WU were of a far higher caliber then the pitchers I was managing at the NCAA DII program therefore they may have been able to make up some with stuff against the same types of bats as compared to the DII pitchers. Also we were a hitting focused team with one of the best hitting instructors in the country as our head coach, therefore we had some very good DII hitters during the times this chart was being put together…consequently when the bottom half of our DII kids were getting behind in the counts they were getting knocked around pretty good.
As far as it relates to my beliefs on calling pitches and you suggesting it is a good thing that I move forward in not calling all the pitches let me just say this…in high school I would be more apt to call pitches then in college due to many reasons. At the college level we called probably half the pitches during weekday games.
On weekends more often then not we would start out not calling pitches. If the tempo started out bad then either I would decide or the head coach would decide we were going to begin calling all pitches until he decided we were going to stop. Transversely we obviously had a lot of information in our hands per our opponents so if the head coach ever wanted to jump in or have me jump in we could call any pitch at any time per any situation.
I personally do not like calling pitches for one simple reason. There is little or no feel from the chair as compared to being on the dirt. With better and more experienced pitchers at any level you take away alot of the feel by being a catcher on a chair. Plus perhaps as importantly as any thing if a coach is constantly calling pitches your pitchers and catchers will never learn. Then again by calling pitches and doing it the right way a coach can most certainly teach his battery mates to call better games.
In closing we ALWAYS had and I still have to this day our pitcher and catcher sit next to one another in between every single inning. We also at the college level at one starting pitcher who already had thrown that week and perhaps against that particular opponent or was to throw against the next day keep a specialized tendancy chart and after every inning he would run through it with our catcher and then the catcher would run through it with the pitcher of record in the game.
That is about all I have to share from my side on 0-2 counts…I think I have written enough… :lol: