Bases-Loaded Blues

Photo courtesy Sean Simmers / PennLive

Photo courtesy Sean Simmers / PennLive

As a team the Senators are hitting a league-worst .160 (8 for 50) with the bases loaded. For comparison sake, the other 11 teams in the Eastern League are hitting a combined .299 under the same circumstances.

In 58 opportunities this season, Harrisburg has scored just 21 times for a total of 28 runs.

Senators’ pitchers haven’t been as stingy as the offense as they’ve allowed the opposition to hit .385 (20 for 52) and score 54 runs while striking out only eight batters.

We took a look at the numbers to try and figure out their struggles with the bases loaded…

SUMMER BREEZE

The Senators lead the league in strikeouts, so it’s not stunning that they’ve whiffed 18 times with the bases loaded. But when you realize that their strikeout rate rises from 25% overall to 36% with the bases loaded, one can’t help but question their collective approach. In nearly half of their plate appearances (28 out of 58), the batter reaches a two-strike count and is hitting a paltry .107.

GET AHEAD AND STAY AHEAD

With that many strikeouts, it’s obvious that the Senators are expanding the zone and putting themselves in a hole by getting behind in the count. They are hitting forty points higher when they are ahead in the count instead of behind and sixty points higher when they start the at-bat with a ball instead of a strike.

SINGLED TO DEATH

Eight hits with the bases loaded isn’t a big sample size, but the Senators aren’t exactly spraying the ball all over the yard either. They have only one extra base hit (a Justin Bloxom double) in 58 plate appearances. It’s much tougher to put up a crooked number when you’re playing station to station baseball.

TAKE A PITCH (OR TWO)

Out of the seven times Cutter Dykstra has came to the plate with the bases loaded, he has swung at the first pitch six times (and put the ball into play on five). Now, if this plan of attack was successful for Dykstra I would have no complaints. But the second baseman’s hyper-aggressiveness has generated only one hit for a .143 batting average. Since he is second on the team behind Matt Skole in plate appearances with the bases loaded, Dykstra needs to reel in his enthusiasm and become more selective in those situations.

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