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View Full Version : Offensive Struggles


southsideirish71
07-29-2004, 11:55 PM
Most sox fans have watched over the last few years in amazement that our offense with such power hitters can go into such slumber and look like the worst offense in all of baseball. We consistantly see pitchers that other teams rock shut us down convincingly. There is a distinct pattern however to this and when our offense strives.

During this recent streak and during other peformances over the years such as Seth Gresinger, Jaret Wright, Brian Anderson, Greg Maddux, Eric Milton have shut this offense down its the same thing. They spot the fastball on the outside corner pretty much the entire game.

Our hitters look for something they can lift and drive for a home run. This is usually something center cut in. This is not only in their long swings, but in their stances in the batters box. All of them, except for maybe Rowand and Everett stand at the far end of the box. This allows them to extend the bat so they can turn on the pitch on the inside corner of the plate.

When a pitcher starts to throw consistantly on the outside our hitters may first take the pitch on the outside corner for strike three. After a few hitters go through this they start to foul off the pitch on the outside. We have seen Crede do this a lot where he throws the bat at the ball on the outside corner. This flailing keeps them alive in hopes of the pitcher coming back inside for something they will drive. If the pitch is reachable they will attempt to extend and either roll their wrists over and Ground out to the pull side of the field or they drop their back shoulder and hit it cockeyed and the ball pops straight up or in the infield. Eventually a pulled hit will get through for a hit. But with this and dipping the back shoulder you see a ton of fly balls and Ground outs.

When the sox have a great night like last week in Cleveland our hitters take a different approach. The same pitcher spots the fastball on the outside corner. This time however the hitter keeps a level swing and goes with the pitch either dumping into right or up the middle. The ball is a line drive or a hard grounder. Eventually the pitcher needs to move the hitter back off the plate and starts to come back in. Our hitters are also working the counts. And when the pitch in the hitters count is center in they do the right thing and hit it for power. But still a line drive swing.

Watching Valentin you can see he pretty much is in a 90 percent pull mode. He is dipping his back shoulder looking to elevate every pitch. He needs to learn that this may work in a fastball hitting count. But not say when you have men on and you have two strikes on you. The inability for this team to recognize when to cut down on the swing and make contact is truly frustrating. This one dimensional pull only mentality has basically shut this offense down. How hard is it to shut a team down when you only have to spot a fastball away and let them do the work. Why challenge our hitters with pitches on the inside.

I watched a game recently where we had men on second and third and no outs. The first guy pops out to the catcher trying to hit a bomb. Then Carlos and Konerko strike out trying to hit home runs. Their swings were silly long. Carlos chased a pitch almost over his head. This is why we have so many hitters with sub .260 BA. Take a good hard look at our hitting stats in 2000 or any of the other years we went to the playoffs. You dont see a whole gaggle of hitters with .240 BA on it. They won because they hit for average and then guys hit for power. Valentin hit 270 that year. We are now with Royce Clayton, without the defense and power.

And lastly the power numbers. We have a select group of power mongers have fallen in love with the long ball as fans. They can accept a man with a .230 BA who strikes out a ton but has some big homers. I would ask them to look at the win shares that valentin has. For every big homer he has, he has a defensive or baserunning miscue to make up for. It pretty much ends up with the same thing, we have Danny Pasqua playing SS.

We need more Grinders to keep in this race.

Go SOX!!!!!
SOX PRIDE!!!!!!!!

South Side
07-30-2004, 12:00 AM
We're struggling offensively?

SouthBendSox
07-30-2004, 01:34 AM
missing Frank and Mag's OBPs (especially Frank's) has just killed this offense

milrtyme28
07-30-2004, 02:13 AM
missing frank and maggs - but especially frank. he connects but he also eats up a ton of pitches before he coneects. if he doesnt connect he walks. losing his on base percentage has turned out to be absolutely crippling to the middle of this lineup. :(:

joeynach
07-30-2004, 10:56 AM
missing frank and maggs - but especially frank. he connects but he also eats up a ton of pitches before he coneects. if he doesnt connect he walks. losing his on base percentage has turned out to be absolutely crippling to the middle of this lineup. :(:No one is afraid of our offense anymore. No one fears our 3,4,5,6 like they used to and like last year with everett and all. That gave our other hitters so many more pitches to hit. Our 1,2, and 7,8 guys got way more pitches to hit and drive and the did. In the 2nd half crede hit 7th and hit like .320 behind a slew of power hitters who saw them being pitched around or they would murder the pitcher. No one is saying let them hit it and lets hope we make the play, they are saying now dont worry about it they will pop or strikeout on there own.

04 World Series Lineup

2B Harris/Uribe
LF Lee
RF Maggs
DH Frank
CF Everett
1B Konerko
SS Valentin
3B Crede
C Alomar/Burke

Current Lineup

2B Harris/Uribe
RF Perez
LF Lee
DH Everett
1B Konerko
SS Valentin
CF Rowand
3B Crede
C Alomar/Burke

As you can see one lineup strikes fear into pitches eyes, especially crappy pitchers like those on detroit. The pithers would try and be too perfect and fearful of falling behind. Now they take on this lineup is if its the royals, many easy outs, low BA's, and noting scarier than a .500 team! And for our hitters one lineup is so potent that our hitter can relax and not try and to do much cuz there are many tough outs. Now we have hitters always trying to do too much knowing we are very weak. Its a perpetual hole that just cant be filled.