If you have watched any baseball game, Im sure you have heard this before.
Let me tell you right off the bat, THIS PHRASE DRIVE ME NUTZ!!
So its a close game and in the later innings. The RBI guy steps to the plate and heres where you will hear it!
The announcer says “well first base is open”. This means that there is someone one on second or third, or both. Now the pitcher doesn’t have to pitch to the batter, he can give him the four finger salute (intentional walk), and attack the next batter.
We intentionally walk people for a couple of reasons…
*The hitter at the plate is an RBI threat, or has the pitchers number
*The batter on deck, is not as likely to be a threat
*We want to make a force out opportunity
Now here comes the reason, I cant stand the above mentioned phrase.
How many times do we pitch to those RBI hitters because someone is on first base? I would be willing to bet, more often then not!
What you will see is the pitcher “pitch around the batter”. Meaning, he throws pitches close enough to the strike zone but not good enough pitches for the hitter to go after, or if he does chase them, he wont get the solid contact. If the pitcher makes a mistake and gets to close to the plate, GAME OVER!!, Their RBI guys for a reason.
To me, those are all wasted pitches. Your spending too much of your energy to throw “decent pitches”, knowing full well, you dont want him swinging.
Are we scared of having two men on? or possibly loading the bases?
Well what if first base is “open”? We arent scared to walk him with four in that case.
So unless the bases are loaded, FIRST IS ALWAYS OPEN!!!
And truth be told, I would gladly walk in one run vs the RBI guy, hitting in two or three. Its kinda like pick your poison. If the guy on deck has no record of being successful, eat the run and attack him.
This applies to little league as well. I have had my 10 year old intentionally walk hitters before. The look from the other team and my own parents is well worth the price of admission.
Heres the dice coaches. Start rollin’ them more!!