Pro­duc­tion the­ory

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL -

What’s be­hind the un­usu­ally large home run pro­duc­tion this year? Ev­ery­one seems to have a the­ory.

Max Scherzer of the Washington Na­tion­als, the Na­tional League starter Tues­day night, said the rea­son is sim­ple — harder-throw­ing pitch­ers have made hit­ters ad­just their strat­egy.

“The pitch­ing is bet­ter at this stage than what it has been in the past,” Scherzer said. “That has forced the hit­ters to be­come bet­ter. Com­pe­ti­tion raises ev­ery­body’s level, and so the hit­ters had to be­come bet­ter hit­ters. The only way you’re go­ing to do dam­age to some of th­ese (pitch­ers) is to keep swing­ing for the fences, keep go­ing for the home runs.

“The pitch­ing is so good now you just don’t see six con­sec­u­tive sin­gles any­more. Guys throw too hard and have too nasty off-speed stuff, so that model — let’s just string six hits to­gether and score three runs — well, that might not be the most ef­fi­cient or best way to play this game. The hit­ters quickly iden­ti­fied, ‘Hey, if we swing for the fence a lit­tle bit more of­ten, we can ac­tu­ally score more runs. In­stead of scor­ing three, maybe we can score five runs.’ “

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