How Can the Phillies Stop Cody Ross?

ross 1017 2010.jpgAfter Cody Ross hit two solo homers Saturday against Roy Halladay, somebody figured out Ross’ name spelled backward is “Ssory Doc.”

Hey, it’s close enough.

Ross’ homers in Game 1 of the NLCS helped the Giants to a 4-3 victory. It was an unbelievable game against an incredible pitcher, but when Ross broke up Roy Oswalt‘s no-hitter Sunday with a home run in Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park, the question had to be asked:

What must the Phillies do to stop Ross?

“We’ve got to make better pitches,” Rich Dubee said. “Give him credit. He’s hit them. But we haven’t made good pitches to him, either.”

Oswalt threw high and tight to Ross in his first at-bat in the second inning, but Ross walked and then homered in his next at-bat. He flied out to the deepest part of Citizens Bank Park in center field in the seventh before Ryan Madson struck him out looking in the ninth.

“Roy moved his feet one time and the next time he went up he hit one out,” Dubee said. “He’s feeling pretty good at the plate. It’s a matter of us executing. We’ve got to command, change speeds and do what we do against everybody. The fact is we’ve thrown three balls in the middle of the plate and he hasn’t missed them.”

Madson struck out Ross in a six-pitch at-bat on a 94 mph fastball.

“When you’re locked in you’re still not going to hit everything,” Madson said. “He’s locked in. You’ve got to mix it up. You’ve got to try something different. At any time he can unlock and not be so hot, but just change things up. I’m not going to tell you all my secrets.” 

Said Oswalt: “Don’t throw it down and in. The last three balls that he hit are in the same exact spot. Just bad pitches. I mean, throwing it right into his bat pretty much. If you can make your pitches you are going to do well. But if you miss down and in that’s pretty much where he’s hitting them.”

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13 Comments

Dubee was right in his assessment of bad pitches to Ross. If you look at the replays, you’ll see that all 3 pitches missed Chooch’s initial target. Those were all “mistakes” by the Roys, but the pitch to Ross was Little Roy’s only mistake of the night. Madson’s 94-MPH heater was elevated, and he couldn’t catch up to it…It’s amazing that after all of these years, our middle of the line-up hasn’t learned to lay off pitches above the belt. When coaches talk about “up in the zone,” do they mean (a) above the belt or (b) in the top-half of the zone below the belt? Certainly, it’s the latter for the Fightins…OK, a lot of what I posted the other day has come to pass in the last two days. Howard and Werth did damage going the other way. Chooch hit an above-the-belt fastball for a homer, also the other way. Jimmy hit his double on a low pitch! By the way, it was great to see him show better plate discipline. That’s how he started the season.

anyone know a guy named Vinnie from South Phila? Perhaps he can help “Stop” Ross….otherwise pitch him a steady diet of breaking balls away.

Dubee is right about the location of the pitches, but seriously, I really think Halladay let his ego get in the way on Ross’s second HR. I don’t have it DVR’d but, if anybody does, check to see if Halladay shakes off Chooch a couple of times to throw the fastball in that at-bat. Inexcusable to an 8-hitter with the pitcher up next. I know Roy has proven himself to be the best pitcher in MLB, but nobody is perfect all the time. You have to think the game in situations like that. I’m pretty sure that Chooch didn’t want a fastball in that situation and count (2-0) with the pitcher up next.

Is shaking off a sign really shaking off a sign? I believe in an interview after the last no-hitter, Halladay indicated he shook off Ruiz only once in the game. This is not to say this is how it goes every game but I have noticed over the last several games “a whole lotta shaking going on” because of what Halladay said. When is it a shake off and when is it another misdirection?

any pitch hit for a HR is a bad pitch. The secret seems to be not to give him heat

the bigger point that should really be made here is that yes, cody ross has hit three homers, but they have all been solo. a lot more damage could have been done by three long balls, but in all honesty, how is it any different than ross just having three rbi? the roys may give up long balls now and then, and so may cole. but the key is to limit the damage, which both starters have done. the offense needs to step up and support the staff. that is where the phillies have the quantitative advantage. the only way we win this series is if we hit more than the giants do.

I agree pherris that sometimes it is a misdirection, but I don’t think Chooch would have called for a fastball on a 2-0 count in that situation. The guy alread hit a bomb, there was one out and the pitcher was coming up next. Make him hit your pitch, something on the outside of the plate, or let him take a walk.
That is the reason Sanchez led the league in walks but still had a stellar ERA. He doesn’t give in and trusts that he can get the next guy out.

Funny…we win and all of a sudden eveilempire and billybobreefer are nowhere to be found…. Also funny how billybob is still trolling our blog. I guess he has a lot of free time on his hands since his team is no longer playing. He’s probably out trying to drum up more support for his boy, Brooks Conrad.

Most of the shaking of the head you see from the pitchers is a ruse initiated by Chooch. He sits behind the batter and shakes his head, which is a signal to the pitcher to do the same. The idea is to confuse the batter into thinking that they are not on the same page. It’s a form of dis-information.

It has to be mentioned – Cliff Lee, the guy is simply amazing right now (and last year’s playoffs). He is unhittable, I’d hate to see what he’d do to the Phils lineup.

Maybe you can get that guy to come puke on him. Then his hands will get all slippery and he won’t be able to clobber Frillies pitching. Just trying to help. I’m just thinking it will be a perfect world Rangers beat the Yankees and Giants beat the Fillies. All of the most obnoxious fans in the country go home whimpering with their tails between their legs. Man the mighty Frills are batting .234 for the NLCS, whaaa happened?

Hey billreef, what are the Braves batting in the NLCS? …Oh?…..

……….never mind.

Does the NLCS MVP, Cody Ross, get a cash bonus for the MVP award?
He sure deserves one. Don’t believe the Giants would have won without him!

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