Posted: 2021-11-02 08:37:47 (ET) [ 373 views ]
These two games are mostly about how focused the teams are. Focus in all pro sports must be near perfect unless outside influences cause inconsistencies such as timely turnovers, passed balls, bad bounces, water on the basketball floor, etc.
Over-focus can make a team tight. Under-focus can catch an individual or even an entire team un-prepared at the wrong time. Perfect focus reminds me of Michael Jordan's tongue and John Elway's eyes. Nothing was going to interrupt their focus on winning that game. Tonight and/or tomorrow night, the hitters will need to have that kind of focus.
Of course, pitchers and catchers must also have that kind of focus to hold mistakes in pitch-placement to a minimum, but a hitter at a VMI of -0.78 can square up on even a perfect pitch, if his focus is right.
A VMI of -0.78 tonight as both teams are sporting, due to having played each other for five games, means that there will be nothing to cause a pitched baseball to dive, lift or dart differently than they've been experiencing unless some idiot pitcher decides to throw knuckleballs, which haven't been seen in the league for a few years. If he does, his focus and his release must also be perfect.
In the regular season, the issue of focus occurs often at this VMI, because without extra movement, the hitters can let their focus wander into imperfection and typically do so. In a game six or game seven of the World Series of MLB, under-focus should not be a problem and over-focus (getting tight) could happen to some players.
Either of these two games could go either way in my opinion. Fried's curveball could get him in trouble against Houston, and Garcia's two-seamer could get him in trouble. Atlanta's bull-pen has a slight advantage over Houston's, but only because the bull-pen now includes the regular season starters.
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