May 24, 2006
Today, I decided to look at how Randy Johnson has faired this season, to date, on various pitching counts. Here's the data:
So, when the count is 0-0, batters hit .286 against the Unit.
And, when the count is 0-1 or 1-0, they hit .297.
Worse, when the count is 0-2, 2-0, or 1-1, they hit .317 against Randy.
On the flip side, when the count is 2-1, 1-2, or 3-0, they hit .255 against Johnson.
And, when the count is 2-2 or 3-1, batters only hit .194 against the Unit.
Lastly, on a 3-2 count, hitters bat .273 against Randy.
It's pretty clear, right? What's killing Johnson is his first three registered pitches against his batters faced. Once he gets past that count, he's productive.
I'm not sure what Johnson is doing with his first three pitches to batters this season, but, it's time for a new plan there. Somehow he has to figure out how to get deeper into counts with batters - because that's where he does better (at least this season).
Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2006 01:29 PM
small sample, but it is bizarre that he does better 1-2 than 0-2.
My guess is that with his heater down 3 to 4 mph, that first pitch fastball is close to a meatball since he's never bothered much with location. Hence, batters are looking first pitch fastball or early in the count anyway. When he tries to open with his slider, it's either flat or nowhere near the plate to entice the batter to swing. He's too much in the zone with his pitches and batters are hip to it. How do you learn to locate your fastball at 42? That's a big question.
If you can't locate, maybe then the answer is to become a little more "wild," to prevent guys swinging from the heels? Just a thought.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2006 04:01 PM