When I hear the term “two-strike approach” I think of a batter and how they want to protect the plate and swing at anything close when the count is 0 and 2.
But maybe O’s pitchers need a better “two-strike approach.”
The stats say the O’s hurlers are among the worst in AL when the count is 0-2.
Worst batting average against, 0-2 count:
.227 - Oakland
.205 - Orioles
.204 - Minnesota
Only Oakland gives up a higher batting average this year on an 0-2 pitch than the O’s. The Yankees lead the AL in this stat at .113 with the White Sox second at .121.
Once you get the count to 0-2, you have done the heavy lifting and the bulk of the work. Now it’s time to finish that hitter off. He needs to hit your pitch and if he does and gets a hit, tip your cap. But I’ll bet part of that average has been some pitches too good to hit in those situations.
Most homers allowed on an 0-2 count:
4 - Orioles & Chicago
3 - Minnesota, Oakland & Toronto
Pitchers need to have a game plan too on a count like that. Sometimes the pitch they throw on 0-2 is more designed to set up a pitch to get the out on 1-2.
Fewest strikeouts on an 0-2 count:
61 - Orioles
80 - KC
81 - Oakland & Chicago
Tampa Bay leads the AL in this stat with 110 strikeouts.
Hits given up in that count, especially a key one like David Eckstein’s that tied the game in the last of the ninth last night, can be really deflating.
There is room for improvement in just about every aspect of the game for this team. Add pitching with an 0-2 count to the long list.