Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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KILLIN IT
2003-10-23 20:31
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Here is what Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus has to say about Aaron Boone:


Dear Aaron Boone: It was a home run, not diplomatic immunity.

Love, Joe

Boone, whose Game Seven home run won the ALCS and sent the Yankees to the World Series, has been swinging at pitches he has no hope of hitting ever
since then.

I looked it up, expecting to see that Boone has taken about four pitches in the World Series. It turns out that he'd actually let 25 baseballs go by in the first three games, just shy of half of the 51 pitches he'd seen. He's pushed counts to 3-2 in a number of at-bats, so it's hard to make the argument that he's not being patient enough.

That said, he was horrific last night. The Yankees' three biggest chances to win the game landed in his lap, and he approached his at-bats as if it were fifth-grade gym class or a co-ed softball league with some goofy rules like "swing or you're out." Against Carl Pavano in the second inning, with the bases loaded, one out and the Yankees down 3-0, Boone swung at the
only two pitches he saw and flied to center field on the second one. Sacrifice flies down three runs with the pitcher coming up aren't team baseball, they're a lifeline for the opposition.

Boone got another chance in the ninth, after Ruben Sierra's triple tied the game. Boone again went up hacking, fouling off the first and third pitches he saw to fall behind 1-2, then grounding out weakly to shortstop after two more
foul balls.

Finally, in the 11th inning, Boone again batted with the bases loaded and one out. And just as he had against Pavano and Ugueth Urbina, he made Braden Looper's job easy by hacking at fastballs up and in, pitches he doesn't have the bat speed to hit. Boone swung at six of the seven pitches he saw, looked completely overmatched, and struck out.

Three at-bats, two pitches taken out of 15 seen, three times falling behind in the count, three outs. Boone needed to have a solid approach last night, and his mental effort was completely lacking, leading to wild swings that gave the pitchers all the leverage they needed to get out of jail.

The truth hurts.

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