So glad that Ty Van Burkleo called a meeting yesterday in order to go over the team's horrific performance with RISP. Not only are our beloved A's last in the majors in batting avg. with RISP, I'm assuming we've got to be one of the worst (if not the worst) teams when it comes to driving in runners from third with less than two outs.
Van Burkleo said, "We talked about situational hitting, the approach to it, the mentality you take to the plate."
Yes!! Contrary to what some AN'ers think, it's nice to hear a coach recognize that at-bats must be approached differently from time to time!!!!! It is a mistake to enter the batter's box with the same approach and philosophy each time ... different situations require different adjustments!
I've seen AN'ers claim that each at-bat ought to be approached the same way ... well,that's true I guess if you're talking about taking outside pitches to the opposite field and other such "fundamentals," but when a hitter comes up with a man on third and less than two outs, he needs to approach the at-bat with a different mind-set than, say, an at-bat with the bases empty and two outs.
For example, a hitter needs to look for a pitch "up" in order to drive it to the outfield -- if the infield is back, he simply needs to select a pitch he can make contact with ... he doesn't need to swing from his a** in other words -- if a man is on second and nobody out, the hitter needs to concentrate on simply hitting a groundball to the right side in order to advance the baserunner. All of these things need to take priority in a hitter's mind in certain situations -- he wouldn't necessarily need to focus on these things in other at-bats.
Glad to see the hitting coach recognize that different at-bats require different approaches. Glad to see the team responded as well. Sometimes the coach needs to make it very, very, very clear -- and I don't care how he does it ... yelling, whispering, whatever -- but he needs to make it clear that certain things won't be tolerated. Not bringing in a man from third with less than two outs is inexcusable. A professional baseball club ought to be able to do this 80% of the time, at least. Good job coach!