One reason for long games in Major League Baseball is that good hitters are able to work the pitch count.
It's why Brian Dozier can have an 0-for-5 day at the plate and still have a positive impact on the game.
Dozier saw 21 of the 85 pitches (24.7%) thrown yesterday by St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas, who exited the game after 4.2 innings.
Even though Mikolas went through the Twins lineup twice and then some, Dozier by himself saw nearly a quarter of Mikolas' pitches.
This year Dozier leads the all Twins batters in pitches seen (746) over the course of his plate appearances, and ranks 19th in the MLB in that category.
In his second plate appearance yesterday, Dozier added 10 pitches onto Cardinals starter Mikolas' pitch count. The next four Twins batters added 11 pitches combined.
Of course, Dozier has always been good at working the opposing team's pitcher—ranking 12th or better in the majors in pitches seen by individual batters every year since the 2014 season.
Dozier owns a .242 batting average in 2018 with a mediocre-by-his-standards seven home runs and 16 RBI halfway through the month of May—and still—the Twins second baseman has the ability to enable his teammates' success through consistent, long game-changing plate appearances that open up opportunities against a tired pitcher later in a game.
Void of the streaky good hitting Dozier normally provides—though history indicates that'll show before season's end—the Twins second baseman can provide plenty of value through consistently working the count on balls he would normally pull for extra base hits.
Joe Perovich is an on-air announcer and writer at KFAN, and can be reached on Twitter (@JoePerovich) or by email (JoePerovich@iheartmedia.com)