2 minutes ago
Most hitting philosophies have two parts: 1.) Before two strikes, get your pitch. 2.) With two strikes, get the ball in play. Failure to do either one when it mattered cost the Royals the ball game. The Royals put together three very good at-bats to start the second inning: Salvador Perez singled, Mike Moustakas saw nine pitches and walked, then Jeff Francoeur did the same. The Royals had the bases loaded, nobody out and Oakland A’s starting pitcher, Tommy Milone, on the ropes. Someone was up in the pen, Milone’s pitch count was already alarmingly high—the Royals appeared to be one hit away from chasing the A’s starting pitching and getting a shot at their middle relievers, the weakest part of any bullpen.
Then Elliot Johnson chased a changeup.
With nobody down and the bases loaded, hitters often look for a pitch up in the zone. Hit the ball on the ground and there might be a play at the plate or, even if you do score a run, you might hit into a double play. The hitter’s goal is to get the ball to the outfield in the air, deep enough to score the runner on third. So if Elliot was going to get his pitch, it should probably have been a fastball and it should probably have been slightly up in the zone. Johnson chased a change-up (easy to do because they’re designed to look like a fastball), but he also chased it down in the zone. He did not get his pitch.
By LEE JUDGE. 2 minutes ago