Just before last Sunday night's game, Atlanta Braves hitting coach Greg Walker stood at the mouth of the dugout and talked about B.J. Upton's complicated, dysfunctional swing. Upton's front foot wasn't getting down quickly enough -- toes and heel -- and as he moved to attack the many pitches he missed, his front hip tended to turn out, like a door swinging open, far too soon before the ball got to home plate. And because of that, his bat followed, dragging out of the strike zone.
This is largely the reason why Upton has struggled so badly against anybody with a decent fastball in the past couple of years. His swing has probably been in the strike zone a minimal amount of time for a majority of his at-bats. Upton had been working on repairing his swing in the days leading up to his benching last week, and when he did side work and took batting practice, it would all look better. But once the games started, the adrenaline of the competition was added in and broke down everything.
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