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View Full Version : Pitchers We Haven't Seen - Who's Fault Is It?


Madvora
08-11-2009, 10:25 PM
Once again tonight. This has been happening for years and years.
You would think that it's just the collection of players that we have just aren't capable of hitting new pitchers, but even the new crop of players we've brought in over the last few years are doing the same thing.
Is this a problem with our advance scouting or something?

JermaineDye05
08-11-2009, 10:37 PM
We've actually had better success this year than usual.

DaveFeelsRight
08-11-2009, 10:38 PM
i'd blame greg walker

Marqhead
08-11-2009, 10:39 PM
i'd blame greg walker

Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!


I blame poor offense on those who are supposed to provide it: the hitters.

jabrch
08-11-2009, 10:44 PM
This myth should be forced to have dinner with the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.

Mr. White Sox
08-11-2009, 10:45 PM
Don't discount the self-fulfilling prophecy. These guys know by now that they are absolute **** against new pitchers, and they might actually think they are collectively more prone to fail. The new guys come in, hear the stories about how Vin Mazzaro destroyed them, and the spiral continues.

That said, they did fine against David Huff, Manny Parra, and others this year.

Madvora
08-11-2009, 10:55 PM
Don't discount the self-fulfilling prophecy. These guys know by now that they are absolute **** against new pitchers, and they might actually think they are collectively more prone to fail. The new guys come in, hear the stories about how Vin Mazzaro destroyed them, and the spiral continues.

That said, they did fine against David Huff, Manny Parra, and others this year.
I think that would be more of the case with things like the team's inability to win in Oakland and Minnesota, not with this. With an unseen pitcher, it's our hitters up there by themselves. Alex Rios probably doesn't have a problem hitting rookies, but now he will.

DumpJerry
08-11-2009, 11:14 PM
i'd blame greg walker
:tealtutor:


I don't "blame" anyone, by the way.

Taliesinrk
08-11-2009, 11:39 PM
.....waiting for Kittle's post....

ode to veeck
08-11-2009, 11:52 PM
i'd blame greg walker

that color is so far from teal I don't even know that the teal police or tutor would even help, or what you may have really been trying to say

GoGoCrede
08-12-2009, 12:03 AM
.....waiting for Kittle's post....

He was the first person I thought of when I saw this post. :D:

WhiteSox1989
08-12-2009, 12:08 AM
This is an urban legend.

longshot7
08-12-2009, 12:15 AM
Before today, the Sox were actually 5-3 in their last 8 games when facing a pitcher for the first time in his career-- However, first-time pitchers have gone 10-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts this season.

TDog
08-12-2009, 12:26 AM
It is not uncommon for pitchers to have their best career start in their first career start, or an early start in any case, even when they aren't pitching against the White Sox. Wilson Alvarez's first career start was a disaster and so forgettable that two years later with the White Sox many thought his no-hitter was his first major league start.

Sox fans got excited after Carlos Torres' first career start, but I wouldn't be surprised if he never pitches as well as a starter. Gio Gonzalez had a great start in his first game for the A's against the Blue Jays but hasn't come close to matching it since, and the White Sox were one of the teams who hit him very hard last year.

This has been going on as long as I can remember. Sox fans in 1970 were excited (as excited as you can get after losing your opener 12-0 behind Tommy John) about Gerry Janeski who won his first major league start and then shut out the A's on three hits in his second major league start. Yet, he had a very forgetable career. Paul Edmonson would have been in the rotation with Janeski if he hadn't died in the off-season, and he is chiefly remembered for two-hitting the Angels in his debut in 1969.

It also is not uncommon for a pitcher to get shelled in his debut. It often has to do with a combination of confidence and command. If the Sox had scored when they had a chance in the first inning tonight, they may have been facing a less confident pitcher.

SoxGirl4Life
08-12-2009, 12:28 AM
It is not uncommon for pitchers to have their best career start in their first career start, or an early start in any case, even when they aren't pitching against the White Sox. Wilson Alvarez's first career start was a disaster and so forgettable that two years later with the White Sox many thought his no-hitter was his first major league start.

Sox fans got excited after Carlos Torres' first career start, but I wouldn't be surprised if he never pitches as well as a starter. Gio Gonzalez had a great start in his first game for the A's against the Blue Jays but hasn't come close to matching it since, and the White Sox were one of the teams who hit him very hard last year.

This has been going on as long as I can remember. Sox fans in 1970 were excited (as excited as you can get after losing your opener 12-0 behind Tommy John) about Gerry Janeski who won his first major league start and then shut out the A's on three hits in his second major league start. Yet, he had a very forgetable career. Paul Edmonson would have been in the rotation with Janeski if he hadn't died in the off-season, and he is chiefly remembered for two-hitting the Angels in his debut in 1969.

It also is not uncommon for a pitcher to get shelled in his debut. It often has to do with a combination of confidence and command. If the Sox had scored when they had a chance in the first inning tonight, they may have been facing a less confident pitcher.

Stop trying to shatter the delusions! :whiner:

Lip Man 1
08-12-2009, 12:31 AM
Against starting pitchers they've never seen before this season; the Sox have 7 wins, 10 losses and four no decisions according to what Mark Gonzales e-mailed me.

Nothing to write home about given that many of these pitchers are getting ripped to shreds by most of the other teams in the league.

Apparently this "malady" isn't an "urban legend" not with that record and not with teams now making an effort apparently to deliberately pitch guys the Sox have never seen before (according to the Orioles announcers back in April) whenever possible.

It's not the fault of Bryan Lyttle and the advanced scouts. I've asked a number of folks in the media and the organization this question and they all tell me the same thing. Lyttle and his people get the information to the club.

What happens after the reports are delivered I have no idea.

I think the issue is twofold in no particular order:

* This decade has been a 'home run or nothing' offense that's the M.O. of this organization from the day Kenny took over. Many of these no names are off speed / breaking ball / junk balling pitchers. You look for a fastball, they throw you an off the plate slider and you're dead meat. It's amazing that the Sox hitters don't have any better plate discipline but apparently that's not taught in the minor leagues and guys from Carlos Lee to Alexei Ramirez have had this problem. Swing hard and hope like hell to hit the ball eight miles. It does work at times (like tonight), most times it doesn't. The crux is that by and large Sox hitters have the plate discipline of most eight year old Little Leaguers.

* As mentioned it's a self fulfilling issue. It is impossible for ANY player with today's 24 hour media to not know say, that the Sox are 6-28 or something like that in Oakland this decade, that they've lost ten in a row at Toronto and that they struggle against garbage no names. It gets into your mind and causes you to press to do things you might not do otherwise and it simple spirals downwards as the game goes on.

Ultimately the only way to cure this is to start drafting and teaching minor league hitters plate discipline (if that's even possible) and work with them until it becomes second nature at the big league level. Thinking these guys are going to have the ability to recognize a strike like Frank Thomas did is fantasy without an awful lot of help.

It's clear they aren't getting it in the minor leagues and there appears to be not a whole hell of a lot that Greg Walker can do by the time they arrive at U.S. Cellular Field.

Just my two cents.

Lip

Noneck
08-12-2009, 12:53 AM
Lip,

Something is wrong but if you are correct, it goes deeper than the Sox minor league philosophy on hitting.

Beckham (to a very short degree) and Getz are the only starters that were weened in the Sox minor league system. And they are not the free swingers you are speaking of.

If you are speaking of most big league players, then why is this only affecting the Sox players? Thome, AJ, Dye, Quentin, Ramirez and PK were not weened by the Sox.

Something is wrong but I really don't know what it is.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2009, 01:01 AM
No Neck:

Valid question. Here's my take...these guys get to the Sox, they see U.S. Cellular Field and immediately change their approach. It's probably not even a conscious decision just something that happens. (Like being a right handed hitter at Fenway - you automatically shoot for the wall, you simply can't help things)

If this is the case that could be something that Greg Walker could be held accountable for.

The other thing as stated earlier, the M.O. of the organization is swing hard, hit the ball eight miles, try for those eight run home runs. Guys buy into it. (Why do you think Ozzie is constantly quoted by the mainstream media in the off season saying things like, "I'm tired of the solo home runs and the strike outs')

It may change when the Sox start to develop and preach a philosophy of well rounded athletes who can play baseball, not sluggers who need three hits to score, not guys who can't bunt or hit and run, not guys who are inept in the field but BASEBALL players who know the game, understand the nuances and can perform at the highest level.

Lip

Noneck
08-12-2009, 01:12 AM
Lip,

What you say about these guys coming to a band box like Sox Park makes sense. But I also think it has something to do with on field and club house leadership. This is a team of choir boys, it doesn't seem like anyone will try to set someone straight on this philosophy by example or with words. I feel as though sometime the saying "nice guys finish last" can be correct.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2009, 01:24 AM
No Neck:

Again a valid point. I was thinking the same thing earlier today. Over the weekend a high ranking Sox front office employee used the words "no killer instinct" to me. Jack McDowell ripped the club for the same thing on his blog earlier in the season and he has a point.

I don't see any Carlton Fisk's, Jack McDowell's, Greg Hibbard's etc who rip a guy up and down in the clubhouse, get in someone's face, do whatever they have to do to inspire, to lead. Not saying guys like Konerko, Dye, Thome don't want to win, they do, but sometimes you need that aggressive style and that's not their way. (Can you imagine what Fisk would have done to Getz or Ramirez for butchering his throws down to second on a steal attempt?)

Maybe the organization thinks Ozzie can do it but to me it's clear this is not the same Ozzie like four years ago. In my opinion he hasn't been the same since the Jay Mariotti incident.

Lip

Noneck
08-12-2009, 01:38 AM
Maybe the organization thinks Ozzie can do it but to me it's clear this is not the same Ozzie like four years ago.



Lip,

I have thought of this many times but don't want to be ripped but I have to say it. You earlier mentioned Ramirez horrible plate discipline. Ozwaldo was the same through his career but as a banjo hitter, How the heck can he tell Ramirez that his plate discipline should improve when he did the same crap without power? Ozzie's playing days isn't so far removed from current players memory like a Joe Torre is. That is why a Fisk, Blackjack or a Ventura is needed on this club. I really think that would help against all this voodoo crap (Oakland, Homer Dome, Rookie pitchers, Toronto, etc)

southside rocks
08-12-2009, 07:05 AM
"Improper spelling on internet boards: whose fault is it?"

Yeah, I'm a nit-picker, but stuff like that just hurts my eyes to read. :D:

jabrch
08-12-2009, 07:14 AM
Against starting pitchers they've never seen before this season; the Sox have 7 wins, 10 losses and four no decisions according to what Mark Gonzales e-mailed me.

Nothing to write home about given that many of these pitchers are getting ripped to shreds by most of the other teams in the league.


How does 7 -10 prove anything?

This team is only 2 games over .500 on the season.

russ99
08-12-2009, 07:22 AM
If you want to blame Ozzie, go ahead, but there's one guy on the staff who's job it is to work with the hitters. So while overall organization philosophy could be a factor, Walker's responsibility is to get these guys to adapt to various situations and pitchers, which there seems to be zero emphasis on this club.

Walk's modus operandi has always been to get guys to focus on certain things to get in a groove and improve their hitting, which has it's good and bad points.

It's good when facing similar pitchers or pitchers the guys have seen many times, where the hitter can expect certain things, but bad when we face a guy like last night, especially since any fan saw that the Sox could have done much better by adjusting their approach and waiting on the curveball instead of hacking at every pitch.

Maybe it's a scouting issue too, if the team isn't getting the lowdown on certain pitchers, but even AAA guys have a book on them. If the team is getting this info, I wonder if it is being ignored...

I forgot where I saw this earlier this year, but a quote summed the whole thing up, where someone from another team said that the Sox don't prepare or adjust properly.

DumpJerry
08-12-2009, 07:28 AM
.....waiting for Kittle's post....

He was the first person I thought of when I saw this post. :D:
Why? Pete Townshend and his band gets blamed for a lot things........

hawkjt
08-12-2009, 07:57 AM
The Sox just have not had many true contact hitters in recent years..and virtually zero .300 hitters..that means these marginal soft tossers can baffle them with their big swings. Finally this year they have Becks and Pods barely hitting .300...and AJ..but that is it. The Puntos and Redmonds of the world get overpowered by flamethrowers but marginal soft-tossers are perfect for those little oppo field swings.

I think it is simple and boils down to the fact that the Sox have few high average hitters and that goes back the whole decade since Maggs and Cabello left.

I think the whole get in their face thing is overrated..how many playoffs did Fisk lead the sox to? Two...how many playoff series did they win? zero. Ozzie has not changed over the years...he let mariotti affect his willingness to get in his players face? no way.

asindc
08-12-2009, 08:15 AM
I remember this talk surfaced right after Brad Bergerson of Baltimore shut down the Sox in his very first major league start. Last time I checked, Bergerson was 9-3 with an ERA under 4. We have to realize that many of these guys are being called up because they are good. I would like to see the record of other AL teams facing a pitcher for the first time. My observational guess is that the Sox are in the middle of the pack over the past five years.

hawkjt
08-12-2009, 08:45 AM
I guess this continues to plague the Sox hitters even after they leave the club...last nite Freddy Garcia struck out BA three times...might be the first time BA faced Freddy,right?

Good to hear that Freddy had another decent outing..6 innings ,2 runs.

kittle42
08-12-2009, 09:40 AM
A thread about a myth is a perfect place for a misused apostrophe in the title.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2009, 10:55 AM
Jab:

Because this has been going on this decade, it became pronounced during the 2003 season and has continued from there.

Hawk:

You have a good point there. Big difference between a team full of guys who hit .240 with a lot of home runs and a team full of .280 hitters who hit a lot of home runs. The Sox were like the second option in 2000 for example but that has changed dramatically.

Asin:

So would I but I don't think that "stat" is officially kept.

Oh here are the updated numbers from Mark...that's an awful lot of first time starters isn't it? More than I can ever recall but I'm sure that's simply coincidence! LOL

The Sox are 6-10-6 in 22 starts

Lip

Thatguyoverthere
08-12-2009, 04:03 PM
I've heard this discussed on sports talk radio and one commenter found a study (don't ask for a link, I don't have one) where he looked at teams across the league and their record against pitchers they haven't seen before and the Sox are actually in the middle of the pack in the last few years. Also, we are hardly the only fans to complain about our teams' lack of success against such pitchers. Red Sox fans, Yankee fans, Angel fans, etc. all do it. The radio guy talked to journalists from all over the country and the complaining exists across the league.

It's ridiculous to think that other teams would deliberately call up some nobody before they played us just because "we haven't seen him before."

asindc
08-12-2009, 04:49 PM
I've heard this discussed on sports talk radio and one commenter found a study (don't ask for a link, I don't have one) where he looked at teams across the league and their record against pitchers they haven't seen before and the Sox are actually in the middle of the pack in the last few years. Also, we are hardly the only fans to complain about our teams' lack of success against such pitchers. Red Sox fans, Yankee fans, Angel fans, etc. all do it. The radio guy talked to journalists from all over the country and the complaining exists across the league.

It's ridiculous to think that other teams would deliberately call up some nobody before they played us just because "we haven't seen him before."

This is the kind of anecdotal discussion I was looking for. I always suspected this. I've been to several different parks in recent years and I hear the same complaints from other fans as well. Like I said earlier, just because the Sox haven't faced a guy before doesn't mean he isn't any good.

Ranger
08-12-2009, 04:50 PM
Lip,

I have thought of this many times but don't want to be ripped but I have to say it. You earlier mentioned Ramirez horrible plate discipline. Ozwaldo was the same through his career but as a banjo hitter, How the heck can he tell Ramirez that his plate discipline should improve when he did the same crap without power? Ozzie's playing days isn't so far removed from current players memory like a Joe Torre is. That is why a Fisk, Blackjack or a Ventura is needed on this club. I really think that would help against all this voodoo crap (Oakland, Homer Dome, Rookie pitchers, Toronto, etc)

Ozzie's ability as a hitter is COMPLETELY irrelevant to him being a manager and what he expects from his players. Therefore, he can conceivably tell Ramirez what he wants from him because he's the boss. Besides, most of these guys don't even have any idea what Ozzie was like as a player. However, it doesn't matter anyway, because Ramirez is always going to be a free-swinger and nothing is going to change him.

So, unless any of those guys have good ability to coach, there is no need to bring them in. Just because a guy was a good player, doesn't mean he'll be a good coach. The two have nothing to do with each other.

thedudeabides
08-12-2009, 05:08 PM
I've heard this discussed on sports talk radio and one commenter found a study (don't ask for a link, I don't have one) where he looked at teams across the league and their record against pitchers they haven't seen before and the Sox are actually in the middle of the pack in the last few years. Also, we are hardly the only fans to complain about our teams' lack of success against such pitchers. Red Sox fans, Yankee fans, Angel fans, etc. all do it. The radio guy talked to journalists from all over the country and the complaining exists across the league.

It's ridiculous to think that other teams would deliberately call up some nobody before they played us just because "we haven't seen him before."

Thanks for posting this, and this is why I believe it is a myth. It exists all over the league. It has for a long time.

Pitchers have the advantage over a hitter, when they've never seen them before. Advance scouting helps, but when they are new, it only helps with tendencies. Until hitters have faced a pitcher, they don't know much about the movement on their pitches, if the breaking pitches have a late bite, or a sweeping motion. If their fastballs have late pop.....and on and on.

Lip, and a few other beat this to death all the time, but it really is common. Just like guys switching leagues and having early success. Or young pitchers having a good couple of months and then you never hear from them again.

I was laughing the other day because a few Cub fan co-workers were having a conversation about how they can't hit new pitchers, and they have to be the worst in baseball at it, even though they switched hitting coaches.

I'm kind of tired of hearing about it, it's just part of the game, but I don't expect it to go away.

Whitesoxfan23
08-12-2009, 05:11 PM
The Sox do struggle with this big time, but Yankee fans complain about this ALL the time as well. They say its a huge problem for them.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2009, 05:56 PM
That guy:

No one is saying teams are deliberately calling up kids to face the Sox (save for the Rangers the past two seasons with good success...) but that if you have the option of juggling your rotation and a guy currently on your club can pitch against the Sox and they haven't seen him, it appears teams are using that option... again the Orioles radio announcers were making this point in their pre game show back in April.

The Sox have already faced 22 starting pitchers they've never seen before already this year...you don't think that's a high number?

Lip

Jjav829
08-12-2009, 06:07 PM
The Sox do struggle with this big time, but Yankee fans complain about this ALL the time as well. They say its a huge problem for them.

Pretty much. Just about everyone has this issue. I was watching the Astros-Giants game last week and the Astros announcers were talking about the Astros struggles against pitchers they've never seen before. And one of them brought up that he talked to the Cardinals guys and they were saying the same thing.

SoxGirl4Life
08-12-2009, 06:17 PM
Pretty much. Just about everyone has this issue. I was watching the Astros-Giants game last week and the Astros announcers were talking about the Astros struggles against pitchers they've never seen before. And one of them brought up that he talked to the Cardinals guys and they were saying the same thing.

What? Impossible!

Noneck
08-12-2009, 06:37 PM
Ozzie's ability as a hitter is COMPLETELY irrelevant to him being a manager and what he expects from his players. Therefore, he can conceivably tell Ramirez what he wants from him because he's the boss. Besides, most of these guys don't even have any idea what Ozzie was like as a player. However, it doesn't matter anyway, because Ramirez is always going to be a free-swinger and nothing is going to change him.

So, unless any of those guys have good ability to coach, there is no need to bring them in. Just because a guy was a good player, doesn't mean he'll be a good coach. The two have nothing to do with each other.

Yes Oz can tell him what to do, even though he did the same thing but as a banjo hitter. He is the boss. But maybe because he was a free swinger he sees nothing wrong with Ramirez as one also. Maybe he looks at Ramirez and says "Damn if I only had his power". And your comment about nothing is going to change him may be a little short sighted. I wonder how his free swinging would be looked at in Minnesota now. The bottom line is, it all comes down to who your boss is.

And if you are correct about players not knowing how their boss played, thats kind of a shame. At work evryone wants to know what kind of worker their boss was, I dont see why baseball would be any different.

You also didnt understand my point regarding Fisk, Blackjack or Ventura. I am saying that the Sox need some players like them on the team rather than a bunch of choir boys. Guys that show and tell the rest of the players how to play as a player, not as a coach.