Whether you're rooting for a team or playing for one, there might not be a more frustrating play in baseball than the popup. And, as you know, Jimmy Rollins has hit his share of them this season. I've always wondered about the popup, why they seem so difficult to avoid over and over and over when a hitter is slumping. Rollins spent a few minutes explaining this to me yesterday, before going 2 for 4. In case you missed the story, wanted to share it with you. A lot of people seem to feel that Rollins is too pull conscious, trying to hit home runs. Both he and Charlie Manuel refuted this, saying he was still trying to use the whole field, just getting his bat slightly under the ball at the point of contact.
Some readers have astutely noted that while Antonio Bastardo has won two games and shown aggressiveness with his fastball, he still has work to do. Here's Manuel after the game: "He's still got to learn command of his breaking ball and change-up. Those are the two pitches that he definitely needs to work on."