PATIENCE AT THE PLATE
When we can parse every action in a game into a set of numbers, there are times we can miss the forest through the trees.
When the Nats make pitchers work, they score runs, when they hack at the first pitch they do not. Wednesday is a perfect example. Cards starter Mike Leake had a bundle of 10- and 11-pitch innings early. Eventually, the Nats chased him after 104-pitches over seven, but Leake walked none, fanned seven and scattered four hits.
When a pitcher is on his game, batters must disrupt the momentum. Sometimes, it is impossible and Max Scherzer can flat out control a game. As accomplished as Leake is, he is not Scherzer. Step out of the box, take away his timing and force him to throw strikes.
You do not need a spreadsheet to tell you that.
Once a pitcher feels comfortable on the mound, they dictate the game. Leake did it with ease and the Nats never recovered.
Ricky Keeler has more on Wednesday’s loss in the post-game show: