One day after Friedrich couldn’t find the strike zone to save his life, Jeremy Guthrie couldn’t leave it alone. Pounding the strike zone to get ahead in the count is baseball pitching 101. Apparently Guthrie skipped remedial baseball – the class that teaches you when you have a batter in an 0-2 count you get them to chase, throw it in the dirt, pretty much anything but serving it up on a tee.
Maybe Guthrie should go back to pitching school.
He only lasted three innings, thanks to a rain delay and Tracy’s decision to bench him after Mother Nature moved on, but in those three innings he gave up four hits in 0-2 counts.
Let me repeat that: four batters were behind 0-2 and went on to get hits (two singles, two doubles).
If you dig even deeper you will find something even more disturbing in the stat.
All four were down 0-2 on two pitches. That is a pitchers dream! Only two pitches, to four batters, and you are one good pitch away from sitting them down. In Guthries case the very next pitch to three of them was center cut and hit hard. The fourth batter? That would be Prince fielder, who fouled off four more pitches to eventually double in a run.
None of the four batters saw a ball in their at bats. Not one ball. Not one out of the zone. Not one.
If you can point to anything wrong with how Guthrie is pitching, any one thing, it would be letting hitters hit your third pitch after two strike calls.
As if losing wasn’t bad enough, 10 in our last 11, having to learn at game time that Carlos Gonzalez was pulled from the lineup due to a right knee strain was icing on the urinal cake of this failed season.
Oh, and insult to injury? Dexter Fowler was put into CarGo’s spot hitting third. THIRD!!! The spot Tyler Colvin should have been hitting in was taken by Fowler who, other than a few weeks of brilliance, couldn’t hit a softball in church league.
Dex’s first at bat came with EYj on 3rd and one out. He just needed to get the ball in play and let the fastest man in the league work his magic. What did he do? Strikeout by swinging at pitches bouncing in front of him.
What did Colvin do his first at bat? Single.
Dex’s second at bat he struck out to end the inning after Scutaro singled.
Colvin’s second at bat? A double.
Swap the two in the lineup and instead of getting blanked 5-0 you are looking at at least two runs off Colvin’s bat. One small thing that Jim Tracy could have done to put the players on the field into their actual correct lineup position, and that could have made the difference.