Originally Posted by Foulke You
Tank looked especially antsy at the plate yesterday. He was swinging at everything, and I mean everything. More so than his normal aggression at the plate. I think his approach was just much worse against Guthrie than what he had against Santana and Shields.
It's odd because when you watch Guthrie pitch, it just doesn't seem like he should be dominating. However, I think his secret is that he changes speeds and his pitches have just enough late movement on them to miss the sweet spot of the bat. Axelrod should watch Guthrie closely because that is the model he is going to have to use in order to get MLB hitters out on a regular basis. I really hope that next time against Guthrie that Robin starts more of the bench guys like Angel Sanchez and Conor Gillaspie. It's time to see if some new blood can have success against him. We have already more than established that our regular guys have very little success against him.
I liked that Ventura put on the hit and run against Guthrie to set up a first-and-third-one-out situation with the fastest hitter in the lineup coming up. It should have broken the tie (and an idential plan did for the Royals the next half inning). If Guthrie is locating, you really have to beat him with a smaller game and chip away at him to upset his rhythm, which appeared to be what the Royals did to Floyd.
The White Sox hit Guthrie hard in August 2011 in Baltimore. Everyone hit Guthrie hard in Colorado (as well as on the road in a Rockies uniform) in 2012. When he returned to the American League later in the season, he was a different pitcher. I wasn't watching him closely enough to see if he has changed his motion, but he seem to be doing a better job pitching to strengths that weren't that apparent with his last two teams. He has good late movement and changes speeds with a motion that confuses hitters' timing. He seems especially tough against power hitters. Of course, Viciedo and Dunn looked awful against him, but even hitters who seemed to get good swings against him, Konerko in particular, weren't successful in driving the ball.
In simple terms, hitting is about timing and pitching is about upsetting timing. But there are three basic aspects of what a pitcher throws -- velocity, movement and location. If a pitcher maintains two of those aspects working in his favor, he can be very tough to beat.