"So simple, and so often, so aggravatingly, ignored by pitchers," I observed then.
I write "ignored" from the perspective of the fan who last played a competitive baseball game when he was twelve; I know that Major League pitchers can throw strikes, and that when they fail to they're usually toying with batters by wasting pitches (ie, throwing balls) to upset a batter's timing, expectations, and instincts, to widen the plate. Yet Coop's argument is unassailable; everything comes from first strikes and getting ahead in counts: fewer walks; anxious, defense batters; fielders on their toes; less wear on pitcher's arms; quicker games; etc..Rodon has pitched adequately thus far (74 strikeouts, 27 walks in 75 innings, an unspectacular 1.493 WHIP). But Cooper's job hasn't gotten any easier. On new starter James Shields's historically awful first four starts with the team, an exasperated Cooper remarked, "I've looked at tipping, a lot of people have looked at tipping, and we're still addressing that."
But before tipping, we need strikes. The main thing as far as I'm concerned is not tipping first, it's strikes.
When you see after 30 pitches, it's 15 balls, 15 strikes, we need more strikes than that. You've got to attack, and specifically earlier in the count to get into pitcher's counts.So simple....