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Baker wants hitters to drive up foes' pitch count

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- During Sunday's 6-3 win over the Nationals, the Reds were successful at running ace Stephen Strasburg's pitch count up early. Strasburg lasted only 5 1/3 innings and threw 114 pitches.

Many starting pitchers aren't as stretched out yet to go deeper in games, and Reds manager Dusty Baker wants his hitters to exploit that fact.

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ST. LOUIS -- During Sunday's 6-3 win over the Nationals, the Reds were successful at running ace Stephen Strasburg's pitch count up early. Strasburg lasted only 5 1/3 innings and threw 114 pitches.

Many starting pitchers aren't as stretched out yet to go deeper in games, and Reds manager Dusty Baker wants his hitters to exploit that fact.

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"Early in the year, if you have a high pitch inning, just one of them, that does you in for one or two at-bats," Baker said on Monday. "That's why I urge my hitters, especially in the day of the pitch count, to be as many tough, foul-them-off at-bats as you can. Even if they strike out, at least you're taking 10-12 pitches out of the guy. That's equivalent to almost a whole inning from one person."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.

Cincinnati Reds, Jonathan Broxton, Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Sean Marshall