Now Commenting On:

Baker wants hitters to drive up foes' pitch count

Baker wants hitters to drive up foes' pitch count play video for Baker wants hitters to drive up foes' pitch count

ST. LOUIS -- During Sunday's 6-3 win over the Nationals, the Reds were successful at running ace Stephen Strasburg's pitch count up early. Strasburg lasted only 5 1/3 innings and threw 114 pitches.

Many starting pitchers aren't as stretched out yet to go deeper in games, and Reds manager Dusty Baker wants his hitters to exploit that fact.

"Early in the year, if you have a high pitch inning, just one of them, that does you in for one or two at-bats," Baker said on Monday. "That's why I urge my hitters, especially in the day of the pitch count, to be as many tough, foul-them-off at-bats as you can. Even if they strike out, at least you're taking 10-12 pitches out of the guy. That's equivalent to almost a whole inning from one person."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español