Tagged: Strategy

Why Do They Do It?

I saw Eric Byrnes strike out ugly his first time up yesterday against Mets starter Oliver Perez. He tried a defensive swing to foul the ball off and missed completely. The Mets announcers said he was looking for the slider and got the fastball.

Why do hitters try to guess what is coming? When it works, it can be nice, like when Byrnes bit a homer off Chad Qualls of Houston last year. He was guessing fastball middle in, was right, and sent a gift to the folks in the Crawford Boxes.

But trying to guess then sets the body to react a certain way. And if you’re wrong, the reaction is ugly.

The human brain is a great calculator. Sure, it can’t do 2 billion calculations a second like some supercomputers. But I figure it can do what it has to in order to figure out what’s coming from the mound if it’s allowed to do so without any preconceived notions gumming up the works.

Do any of you know of any scientific experiments that prove or disprove the value of trying to guess what’s coming?