For anyone who has watched baseball long enough, the game as it is played now might seem foreign.
It has turned into a three outcome game. Home run, or walk, or strikeout.
Game 2 proved that. The Dodgers had five total hits. Four home runs. In fact, most games in this post-season have featured runs scored via the home run, and nothing else.
Yankees outfielder Matt Holliday talked about that on MLB Network Radio last night. He is old school. He does not like his baseball that way. But he explained why it is happening.
Two reasons, really.
One is defensive shifts. The predominance of shifts has made lifting the ball of utmost importance. Nobody is trying to drive the ball in the gap. There will be someone on defense standing there. The only way to beat the shift is to hit the ball over everyone. So hitters swing up, trying to hit it out where there is no defender.
The other factor is the velocity of pitching. He said pitchers are throwing so fast these days that it’s nearly impossible to string together multiple hits. So, really, all you can hope for is to look for one pitch to drive and try not to miss it.
Makes sense as well.
What it doesn’t make for is the style of play most of us grew up loving.
But everyone is talking about Game 2, and what an amazing game that was. So, it seems, this is what we are stuck with for the time being.
Home run derby. Get used to it.
Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86) vs Lance McCullers (7-4, 4.25)
Game time: 7:08 on FOX