The conventional wisdom is that with two strikes you should protect the plate and be sure to swing at borderline pitches. I’m not sure that this isn’t completely and utterly wrong. I’m just judging from my own observations, but from what I can tell, umpires are very reluctant to call strikes on 1-2 and 0-2 counts. I mean, if the pitch is right down the middle, they’re usually going to call it, but generally in these counts the strike zone gets awfully small.
Ironically, umpires do this because they’re trying to not effect the game; they want the pitcher and hitter to decide them. The effect of this, of course, is that the umpires profoundly change the rules of the game.
Not that hitters necessarily realize it. This year, hitters have hit .279 on balls in play on 0-2 counts, .283 on 1-2 counts. On all other counts, it’s higher; the major league BABIP, in all counts, is .297. Obviously, they’re swinging at pitches they can’t hit. They might want to think about shrinking the strike zone in these counts, treating it like 3-0 or 3-1, and only swinging at pitches they really like.
Or not. I’m not really sure about this.