WASHINGTON -- Warren Spahn famously said hitting is timing and pitching is upsetting timing.
Jimmy Rollins has had bad timing recently.
Not necessarily because pitchers have been fooling him, but because he has been out of whack. And an out-of-whack hitter can't hit much of anything. Rollins entered Thursday night's game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park hitting just .121 (4-for-33) with one double, two RBIs, two runs scored and no stolen bases.
The Phillies obviously need Rollins to turn things around. They were 42-15 (.737) when he scored a run last season. They are 423-202 (.677) in his career when he scores a run.
"For the first week, it didn't matter what they threw to me," Rollins said. "It could have been fastballs right down the middle. I was out of whack. I was. I'm good now. You've got to make adjustments when you have a bad swing."
Rollins explained that he hasn't been seeing the ball well.
Lots of hitters say that, but what exactly does that mean? Rollins provided a Hitting 101 tutorial about seeing the ball properly.
"You're getting your [front] foot down late," he said. "When your foot is down, everything stops. The head stops. The eyes. Everything focuses."
But get the foot down late and a hitter doesn't see the ball as long, because the body is still moving, especially the head and eyes.
And change the sightline of a pitch and "you're only seeing the ball the last couple feet," Rollins added, "and it's too late to see if it's a slider, curveball, get the speed, whatever."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.