It’s not every day you see a 14-pitch at bat. It’s not every day an AB that long ends in the go-ahead hit.
On Monday night, Chris Taylor put together arguably the best at bat of the season. With the bases loaded and two outs in a tie game, he saw 14 pitches, a career-high. On the 14th pitch, he scorched a double to right-center, clearing the bases and giving the Dodgers the 6-3 lead.
“I was trying to be as short as possible,” Taylor said following the game. “Grind him out. I was trying to put the ball in play. I was able to fight off those off-speed pitches and finally got a good swing on one late.”
Taylor quickly jumped ahead in the count 2-0. He then fouled of five of the next six pitches he saw. After that, he watched a curveball go inside for ball three. He then fouled off four more before connecting on the 14th pitch.
During the at bat, Taylor saw 10 fastballs and four breaking balls. He said the key for the at bat was that he was looking for fastballs.
“I was trying to be on the heater,” he said. “I didn’t want to be in between. Just trust my eyes there.”
With the game tied and the bases loaded, it would be an electric moment regardless, but once fans started to realize the length of the at bat, they began to go nuts. After Taylor hit the go-ahead double, Dodger Stadium erupted.
“It was fun when I hit the double,” Taylor said. “During the at bat I was trying to stay within myself. Blackout, sort of speak. I could definitely feel the energy once I came through with the hit.”
Taylor said he knew he was at the plate for a while, but didn’t realize he had seen so many pitches. He said he wasn’t counting, but knew the number had to be high. I don’t blame him. The at bat practically lasted five minutes, I’d forget how many pitches I saw too.
“He was throwing a lot of strikes,” Taylor said. “Early in the at bat he fell behind. Then he threw almost all strikes after that. it’s not like I was laying off tough pitches. I was swinging at every pitch.”
Taylor isn’t kidding. With the exception of pretty much two pitches, 12 of the other pitches were all right in the zone. What an at bat.