The Cardinals are.

 

We’ve seen a positive example of how important the leadoff man is. Rafael Furcal is hitting .526 with three doubles and a couple stolen bases. When the leadoff hitter is on base a lot, good things tend to happen.  He’s getting good pitches to hit.

 

David Freese picked up where he left off in October. I’m anxious to see what this guy can do if he can stay healthy for a change.  When Freese started laying off the pitcher’s pitch last October, some very spectacular things happened.

 

Carlos Beltran is also hammering the baseball.. So are Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman. And the Cardinals will soon have Allen Craig’s bat available. I’m also anxious to see what Craig can do if he’s healthy for the balance of the season.

 

I agree with what Mike Shannon. Mark McGwire is a very good influence on these Cardinal hitters. I saw the interview on Fox Midwest before Sunday’s game. McGwire echoed every comment about hitting that I’ve heard from him since his playing days.  There is nothing complicated about what he teaches. Have a plan when you step into the batter’s box. It comes down to once sentence. Get a good ball to hit.  That’s been sound advice since the earliest days of the game.  Ted Williams said that Rogers Hornsby drilled that into his head early in his career. That applies whether you’re a little guy with no power whatsoever or if you’re Matt Holliday.

 

Demanding a good pitch to hit every at bat was one of the factors in the Cardinals history making September and October in 2011.

 

Getting a good ball to hit is good advice at any level in baseball or softball. As you’re watching the Cavemen or Gems this summer, take time to note where in the strike zone the pitches are that are drilled. Where are the pitches that are missed or topped? If you ask one of these guys afterward about a hard hit ball, he’ll tell you every time that it was in a spot where he could get good wood on it.

 

Getting your pitch also applies for those of us who play slow pitch softball. A large majority of outs are made by hitters who willingly swing at pitches they cannot possibly hit well---even with the fanciest, high tech bat.

 

This  even applies in golf. Why set up to hit the ball in less than an ideal manner?  ..And that ball isn’t going to move.