Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I am all for good aggressive pitching. With control. Pedro Martinez had a reputation as a headhunter, but in reality, in his 18 seasons, he only hit 122 batters, or fewer than 7 per season. He was a master at throwing the ball an inch-and-a-half away from the batter, brushing them back and instilling fear, but without putting them on base.

Fast forward to 2011. Going into tonight's game, Red Sox pitchers had already hit 28 opposing batters, more than any other team in the league (The MLB average is 17). In tonight's game, Aceves just hit another, so now we're up to 29.

Who is responsible for all this beanballing? Lester leads all MLB pitchers, having hit 7 batters already this season. Aceves has hit 6 batters, including tonight. Lackey has hit 4.

I'm not saying it should never happen. If a guy is hanging out over the plate, and you brush his shoulder, that's his problem.

But when the team is leading the league in this category, something is wrong. Last year, with John Farrell as the pitching coach, the Red Sox only hit 53 batters. And this year we're at 29 already? I'm not saying the new pitching coach Curt Young is to blame. But I'd like to see us focus less on aggressiveness, and more on the fundamentals.

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