THE “INTERESTING ACTION” BETWEEN PITCHER AND BATTER”. When Brian Costa claims that the “interesting action” in baseball comes when the batter hits the ball, he is dismissing all the action that takes place between pitcher and batter—intensely interesting action for the players—and for those watching on television. Each at bat is a struggle for advantage with neither batter or pitcher wanting to avoid “falling behind on the count”. The batter is trying to “work the count”. Costa dismisses at bats that “last at least three and usually four or more pitches’, and yet it is common to hear a team praise one of its batters as having had a “good at bat” when the at bat lasted for a large number of pitches.
I made an exception above for watching a game on television. Costa’s position is more understandable for some one watching a game in person. It’s hard to pick up much of the battle between pitcher and catcher when you’re at the ballpark. The centerfield camera changed everything for television watchers. And now, you can get an estimate of the speed of each pitch and its location on the pitch fx grid.