Thursday, April 30, 2015

Who’s Calling the Shots?

Or, at least the pitches.

Interesting series of events the last couple days. Maybe it’s just interesting to me, on the outside. But, anyway…

I usually follow Red Sox games using MLB Gameday. It’s just what usually works for me. So, I see the pitch locations pretty easily on the graphics, assuming they’re accurate. During Clay Buchholz’s outing, I noticed something. All the pitches looked pretty good. I actually tweeted that maybe it was just all bad luck. All his pitches seemed to be on the outside corner at the knees. Pitcher’s pitches. The batters just happened to be smacking them for hits. Not sure I could blame him as much as I might have. Maybe they got too much of the plate than they should have, but it wasn’t that bad.

Then John Farrell was on with the EEIdiots yesterday. He said that one of the problems with the pitching staff was that they were pitching away too much. That they needed to use both sides of the plate more. Other teams knew that they Sox were always away, so they were hanging over the plate and driving those balls. Which then made Buchholz’s struggles more sensible. He was throwing beautiful pitches on the corner. The Jays just knew he was going to do that. So, I wondered…if Farrell knew that, why not just tell their catchers to call the pitches inside more often?

What was the hold up?

Was it the pitchers who were resisting? After all, the fools on the Hub were blasting Kelly for not coming inside more with his fastball. And everyone always got on Dice-K’s case for nibbling so much. Was the pitcher in control? Was he shaking the catcher off? Or was he so hesitant to pitch inside that the pitches were drifting outside?

Then I hear that before the game yesterday there was a big pitcher-catcher meeting where they were all told to pitch inside more. Why was the meeting needed? Who needed to be convinced? Or, was it something that Farrell and the coaching staff JUST picked up on yesterday and wanted to get to the whole staff as quickly as possible?

Whatever the reason, Porcello went out following the meeting, and pitched seven innings while only giving up one run. He even manages to limit or eliminate damage when things started to get away from him.  Tazawa and Koji were scoreless.

Is everything now fixed? If so, why wasn’t it fixed before?

Is it Hanigan? Was he used to calling pitches low and away for all the fireballers in Tampa? Is that why Kelly and his 99 mph fastball was doing better than the sinkerballers? Did someone need to smack Hanigan and remind him to call some of them inside every once in a while? Did they need the meeting in order to convince him of that?

Who sets up the gameplan? Isn’t that a group effort between the pitchers, catchers, and coaching staff?

If everything is fixed now, what was broken?

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