Reaction: Washington Nationals Offense Struggles Against Jose Fernandez
Taylor Has Two Hits, But Not The Big One
With Ben Revere on the disabled list, it has been up to Michael Taylor to try to be that consistent hitter in the leadoff spot. Unfortunately, his great spring numbers have not translated to the regular season as of yet. After last night’s game, Taylor is hitting a mere .178 in his first 11 games.
In last night’s game, he went 2-for-4 with a double in the fifth inning off Fernandez for the team’s first hit and he did draw a walk to start the game. But, the one at-bat that stood out was in the second inning.
Now, Taylor did a good job making the pitcher work, something he hasn’t done this season in the leadoff spot. Last night, he saw 24 pitches, which was the most of any hitter in the Nationals’ lineup. In that second inning, he made Fernandez work, but swung and missed at the fourth consecutive breaking ball from the Marlins’ ace.
So far, Taylor’s .208 on-base percentage is the lowest of any player on the roster. Plus, his .171 on-base percentage is the third lowest of any player leading off an inning, ahead of only Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies (minimum 23 at-bats).
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For the short term, the Nationals will need Taylor to continue that approach of making the pitcher work out of the leadoff spot, even though his double in the fifth inning against Fernandez came on a first pitch breaking ball.
On the basepaths, Taylor was caught stealing trying to take second base in a 5-1 game in the top of the seventh inning. In the end, the Nationals need more productivity out of that leadoff spot until Revere comes back.