We have really struggled in close games this year. Many people will point to not hitting with RISP and that is a factor, but I think it is because we have too many guys who make outs. Our OBP as a team is very poor, in fact I checked our OBP as a team and in the previous 10 years it was at least 12 points higher than this year’s .332. We have had OBP's in the .360's some years. Guys like Ichiro and Ibanez and Jones make too many outs. I am not as worried about the HR's, I worry we make too many outs which kills rally's. Last night Ichiro was a classic example of what frustrates me. He was up withy 1st and 3rd 2 outs early in the game and instead of taking ball 4; he swung at it and then struck out. Mid game he was up with 1st and 3rd and 1 out this time and he swung at one pitch way out of the strike zone before striking out on another one that was high. Then in the 7th, he had martin on 1st base with a full count, he swung at a breaking ball that was way outside and fouled it off. He then ended up flying out. TAKE THE DARN WALK!
After my last post Bruce had written in the comments section about Cano not hustling. The line drive in the 8th really showed that as he actually stopped running before starting again. I don’t understand why guys don’t run until they know the outcome. You would think when the Mets guy (was it Tito Perez???can't remember his name) didn't run out the double in the WS and got thrown out at home plate that a huge play that possibly changed the WS would be etched in people's minds? I would have also liked to see Cano dive and do anything possible to keep the weak grounder in the 8th from getting to the OF. He did hustle and stretch far but the ball stayed down; a dive there was the play as you must knock it down. While on Cano, he also made a bad base running play on a soft grounder by ARod where he went back to the bag at 2nd base. He should have advanced right away on it. As it turned out I don’t think he would have scored anyway and he got to 3rd, but it was not heads up on his part.
BTW, I know some of you email me and that is fine, but feel free to use the comments section so everyone can read and possibly respond to your thoughts.