NO PATIENCE AT THE PLATE
One thing we have noticed down the stretch is the Washington Nationals are hacking as they come to the plate.
It is so important this time of year to wear out the other pitcher. Although the Dodgers’ bullpen is good as a whole, it is vital to have at least one game where they need to get 15 outs to win a game. The best way to do that is make Clayton Kershaw and company throw strikes and layoff bad pitches.
Look how successful the Boston Red Sox have been in decent years making pitchers grind in every at-bat. If the last month is any sign, the Nats are not being patient and are letting pitchers dictate the game on their terms.
With the added pressure of the playoffs, anything the Nats hitters can do to disrupt a pitcher’s timing and patience will tip the balance in their favor. Recently, they have not.
If they cannot slow the game down to a pace of their choosing, momentum will swing the wrong way. The team does little to defend the strike zone. If we do not see long, tense at-bats in the first two games, the Nationals will be in trouble. Take pitches.