On Yuniesky Betancourt ...

In the bottom of the first inning, Jaime Garcia was making the Cardinals and their fans uncomfortable. After walking Jerry Hairston and allowing a 5,938-foot homer to Ryan Braun, Garcia hit Prince Fielder with a pitch, and walked Rickie Weeks. He started Yuniesky Betancourt with a ball -- his sixth straight of the inning. That could only mean one thing: the strikes were going to come fast and furiously! Fastballs right down the middle were imminent!

Yuni_medium


And that is the at-bat of a player with no plan. After six straight balls, Yuni chased pitch after pitch on the fringes of the strike zone. Carlos Gomez had a similar at-bat to end the inning, but at that point it seemed like Garcia was actually putting the baseballs where he wanted to throw them.

After Weeks walked, pitching coach Dave Duncan went out to talk to Garcia. His message was either, "Pitch better, you weenie" or "Say don't worry about throwing a strike here. Just keep doing what you're doing." Either way: genius!

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