Washington Nationals: NLDS Game 4 a must win

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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You can sum up this series by saying the most consistent hitter in the Nats lineup is batting eighth.

Michael Taylor is having himself a series. Everything hit is solid contact. His on-base percentage of .333 leads the team. Yet, he bats in front of the pitcher.

In desperate need of a spark for an offense with a team OBP of .200, Taylor must bat higher in the lineup. Twice this year, he led off. Six times, he hit second. One of those spots is where he needs to be in the lineup.

Because Turner cannot reach base, there is no pressure on the Cubs pitchers to face Bryce Harper and the rest of the lineup. Solo home runs sting, but rarely prove fatal. As a unit Chicago’s WHIP over three games is a stunning 0.692. Numbers making Sandy Koufax and Greg Maddux envious.

Although luck plays a role in every game, Washington has not done a decent job creating any. With everything on the table, Baker cannot waste Taylor in the eight-hole. The Nats must pressure Chicago to win.

Taylor’s exceptional range in centerfield has saved runs. He took responsibility for not diving on Anthony Rizzo’s game-winning bloop Monday, but Taylor’s ability to track down balls in all fields keeps this series close.