Andy Green talks Clayton Richard, how to pitch to Bryce Harper

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Andy Green talks Clayton Richard, how to pitch to Bryce Harper

- Like, the returns against the Mets were solid. I thought he made some really good pitches there. Last outing wasn't crisp for him. I still think he's got to stay with what's guiding him here in the last couple of years, which is that sinker that just gets beneath bats and gets ground balls and makes him pitch efficient. I think his strikeouts have been up. Deep counts have been up, which has taken a guy that has gotten very deep in games for us for the last year-plus, and made his outings a little bit shorter. So as much as you don't like contact sometimes, I think he's always pitched to early contact-- early weak contact, and been very successful in getting that.

It's always easier out of division, with teams that haven't seen him nearly as much as the NL West has seen him. So hope is these guys don't have kind of the familiarity with this uniqueness. It gives him a better shot against these guys. And it gives him the opportunity to go very deep in the game.

We'll still shift him. It changes batter to batter in Clayton's case. Most of that's just dictated by the batter. Occasionally, we'll factor in the way he throws, and adjust the defense accordingly. But a lot of that's built on the batter.

It's nice when you have the opportunity to do that, and have the depth in the bullpen and the bullpen that's not taxed. We haven't been able to function that way. A lot of that's been built on starts that have been two to five innings. And in that inning range, you have to get length from your bullpen so consistently that sometimes you can't do that in order to win a baseball game. Sometimes you can't. And if we think we have a chance to win a game, we'll be very aggressive in how we manage the game and how we put guys in positions to be successful. And if we feel like certain matchups aren't in our best interest, we'll make adjustments and go to the bullpen.

How much leeway you give a guy, to me, you got to go out there and throw up zeros from the beginning. And there was probably a point in time where the philosophy was, hey, I'll hold my third pitch back, or my best secondary pitch back, and I'll wait until the second time through the order to show that. Now it's go get outs, and treat each out as important as the last out you plan on getting that day. There's no holding stuff back. It's going aggressively at guys, and it's executing.