It's a strategy that has become known as "pitch to contact." So far, in the small sample size of 18 games, the pitches are finding some extremely hard contact.
The Red Sox home run parade at Target Field -- five in the past two games, both victories -- has taken their pitching staff off the hook. Boston has no longer given up the most home runs in the majors; that distinction now belongs to the Twins, who have allowed 28 bombs this year and are on a pace to allow 252 for the season. To put that in perspective: The MLB leader in the right direction -- fewest HRs allowed -- is Washington. The once-woeful Nationals have allowed just three homers all season.
Not surprisingly, the Nationals are also No. 1 in ERA at 2.21. The Twins? They're 29th at 5.69. The Twins have allowed the seventh-fewest walks (42), so they are coming through on that end of the pitch-to-contact mantra. They've struck out 95 hitters as a staff, tied with Colorado for fewest in the majors.
This philosophy has obviously worked in the past, as evidenced by six AL Central titles in nine years (though Johan Santana, who pitched to a lot of swings and misses, was a big part of several of those teams). In 2008, for example, a very young staff allowed the fifth-most HRs, exhibited very good control, was in the top half in MLB ERA and came within a one-game playoff of winning the AL Central.
Your question of the day: Is it a sound philosophy that needs better execution of pitches, or does the model need tweaking?