Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hail Yadier! (hail yadier)

Sounds like Molina had a game for the ages last night, at least, according to the description in the online Post-Dispatch this morning.

Very short post today - I have the duty, and off to relieve the watch - so some random thoughts for your to chew on:

Dan over at C70 at the bat made a point yesterday that I wanted to discuss briefly. He commented on Pujols' propensity to pop up, especially with guys on base. His frustration is understandable; AP is the best hitter on the team, and we expect him to succeed all the time driving in guys in scoring position. If memory serves he hit over .400 last season with runners in scoring position (or was that 2006? It's getting fuzzy), so there's some reason for our expectations.

Pop ups, in my opinion, mean one of two things - either your swing has a huge uppercut, or you're just missing the ball. AP does not have a huge uppercut to his swing. In fact, he repeats the same swing at bat after at bat. It's quite remarkable, actually. Which means he's just missing. When a guy fouls a ball straight back, it means he was right on the pitch but the plane of his bat was about a baseball's width below the pitched baseball's trajectory; hence he gets the bottom of the ball and sends it into the backstop. On a pop-up, the plane of his bat is about a 1/2 baseball width below the pitched ball's trajectory. That means, on a baseball that's less than 3 inches in diameter, his swing is an inch too low.

This is very simplistic, for it doesn't take into account the spin on the ball and the effect that has on its flight after its struck by the bat.

Albert centers the ball on the bat as well as anyone that has played the game. When he pops up, I shake my head and shrug, because he just missed it. You can damn well bet the pitcher is breathing a huge sigh of relief. Not only did he get AP out, but he knows AP just missed sending that pitch into the deepest reaches of the stadium.

The other item is Wainwright going to the bullpen when he comes back off the DL. This is dumb, we need him in the rotation, but it also says to me his tendon injury is worse than reported, and the club doesn't want to risk further injury with the stress of starting.


Cardinal70 said...

That's true, it's likely that AP just missed a pitch. But I also think a little of his natural aggressiveness comes into play. The one on Sunday night was a high pitch (though with 2 strikes, he had to be swinging) and he thought he could do something with it.

I just don't remember anyone that popped up in the infield more than AP. It's probably because no one can center like he can, as you say.

Mike said...

Valid point. Ludwick has been great this year protecting AP once Tony moved him into the #4 slot, but every now and then AP regresses to the 'there's no one else, so I'd better do it' mentality he had in 06/07 while Edmonds and Rolen fought injuries. He doesn't chase much, but he did on Sunday.