You may remember last week when I looked into why Juan Pierre was doing so well this season, and come up with an all-too-obvious reason:
Wait, so you’re saying that after years of frustration, all it took was…
I know, I know… his success of late is almost entirely due to the fact that he’s no longer swinging at lousy pitches, thus giving away at-bats via weak groundouts and passing up free bases on balls he may have otherwise had. It’s amazing, isn’t it? You’d think “hey, dummy, don’t swing at bad pitches” would be pretty obvious… yet here we are.
Pierre’s game last night was proof of this hypothesis in action, because in his first five trips to the plate, he didn’t get on base once, while striking out twice. As Juan himself said later,
“Tonight, I was swinging at balls over my head and everywhere,” Pierre said. “I didn’t have my selective eye tonight.”
Fact: swinging at balls over your head and everywhere is not going to get you a good pitch to hit. So when, in at-bat number six, he finally had a productive at-bat, drawing the bases-loaded walkoff walk that would end the game, how did he do it?
In the 10th inning, he said he decided he would force Arredondo to throw a strike.
“I finally had a good at-bat and it proved to be a big one,” Pierre said.
Don’t swing at balls outside the strike zone. Amazing what that can do for you, isn’t it? You might almost say it’s the difference between winning and losing.