You may have heard by now, but if for some reason you were busy washing your hair or watching the Lakers beat down G State , then guess what?
Bartolo Colon when out and threw 38 consecutive strikes in route to shutting down the Angels last night.
Bartolo should be credited for displaying masterful control and movement last night – there is no doubt about that. However - what should be alarming for Angels fans is the lack of in game adjustments being made by the team. This responsibility once again falls on the loveable shoulders of Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher.
To use a football analogy – the Angels hitters are consistently out schemed. Their approach doesn’t seem to vary from game to game based on the opponent (the starting pitcher). The hitting coach is in essence the offensive coordinator for a baseball team. Its his job to prepare hitters to succeed before and during the game and from there it is the batters job to execute the plan.
The Angels consistently feel like a team without an offensive game plan. They run the same play over and over again despite its ineffectiveness. Does the game plan ever change? It sure never seems so.
Last night with Bartolo Colon throwing first pitch fast ball – pitch after pitch – after pitch and throwing strike - after strike – after strike – after strike. Why not shift the game plan (assuming there was one) to sit fastball and “zone up” from the first pitch of the at bat. The term “zone up” is usually reserved for a 2 -0 or 3-1 count. However when a guy is attacking the zone with fastballs as if he is behind in the count (like Colon was) the mentality needs to shift accordingly to look for a fast ball in a certain location and rip it. Instead the Angels did not adjust and attempted to work counts as if the 2011 version of Fernando Rodney was on the mound. As a result Colon controlled counts all night.
Check the video for evidence. Pay close attention to Alberto Callaspo’s at bat in the 5th inning ( 16 seconds in). Colon had already tipped his hand at this point in the game – all but screaming to Angels hitters: “I’m throwing fastballs all night son!!” Yet Callaspo takes three straight fastballs (two down the pipe) and strikes out looking! Its like Callaspo wasn’t even at the same game I was at. This is a direct indictment on Mickey Hatcher. There appears to be no process for scouting pitchers and putting together a game plan before a game and there sure as hell aren’t any in game adjustments being made.
If there is in fact a plan in place then Hatcher is clearly being ignored and that could be an even bigger problem.