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Adrian Gonzalez to opposing managers: Don’t bother with the shift

04.05.11 at 11:32 pm ET
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CLEVELAND — For the first time this season, an opponent of the Red Sox decided to implement a shift against Adrian Gonzalez, pulling three infielders to the right side of second base. In the case of the Indians, it paid off, with the lefty first baseman going 0-for-4, including a two ground outs to the right side.

But Gonzalez says not only isn’t the strategy a new one, but it has never been an effective one.

“Last year it probably helped me more. I hit more balls to the third base side than the pull side,” he explained. “It’s something I guess managers feel comfortable doing that for whatever reason. But I think it benefits me more than it hurts me, although obviously not tonight.”

He has a point. Of Gonzalez’ 110 singles in 2010, more were hit to left field than right field. The problem, he said, Tuesday night was more pitch selection than anything else.

“I did a poor job today of being selective and getting good pitches to hit,” he said.

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