Despite facing the less-than-impressive Chad Reineke and Jerry Horst for four at-bats in Tuesday’s game, Casey McGehee managed to go 0-4 with a strikeout and a double play. McGehee has been poor this entire season, turning in a .246/.304/.357 line through 227 plate appearances. Rarely can I remember seeing him so out of sorts as in last night’s game. Take a look at some of the pitches he either missed, attempted to pull, or chased out of the zone.
All Pitch F/X images from the wonderful Brooks Baseball. For all, click to embiggen.
After getting ahead 1-0, McGehee watches a strike down the middle, fouls off an even-more-down-the-middle pitch, and then whiffs on a ball six inches off the plate outside.
Second at-bat: Fielder’s choice groundout to shortstop.
On a 2-0 count, McGehee grounds out on a similar pitch to the one he struck out on in the second inning, nearly six inches off the plate outside. This is not a pitch that McGehee usually attempts to pull — a “right” Casey McGehee will try to go opposite field if he’s swinging at a pitch that far out of the zone.
Third at-bat: Grounded into double play.
McGehee continuing to beat pitches into the ground is disheartening — his GB% is all the way up to 55%, up eight points from last season. This pitch was on the outside corner of the plate and down, one that he is capable of lining to right field. Instead, he grounded to second. At least he didn’t try to pull it — the Yuniesky Betancourt approach — but he needs to get some air under the ball.
Fourth at-bat: Groundout to third.
McGehee saw three pitches in the meaty part of the strike zone and only managed to foul them off before hitting — you guessed it — another ground ball, this time to third base.
McGehee just looks out of sorts right now and isn’t making the kind of hard, line-drive contact that we’re used to. Instead, he’s beating the ball into the ground and attempting to pull balls off the plate outside. Maybe he needs a day off, maybe he just needs some more time and an adjustment, but something has to happen, as McGehee’s struggles are a large reason why the Brewers offense has been merely average this year after being one of the league’s best in 2010.