There was a very big difference in the approaches of these two offenses on Tuesday night. The Houston Astros hitters were very patient at the plate against Max Scherzer and were looking to drive up his pitch count.
That method certainly worked as they chased Scherzer after five innings and got to the Washington Nationals bullpen.
However, because they got into such deep counts, Max was able to put them away with the strikeout when he needed to. He finished four of his five innings with a strikeout and had seven overall in the game.
On the other hand, the Nationals hitters were very aggressive early in the count. In fact, Cole didn’t throw a single ball in the first inning.
Zimmerman and Turner both got hits on the first pitch of their respective at-bats.
Suzuki was the only hitter in the lineup that really made Cole work with a couple of long at-bats, including that huge fifth inning walk. Turner also worked a couple of deep counts, as did Soto on that big fifth inning hit.
But for the most part, Nationals hitters went up there ready to swing, and it paid off as they racked up 5 runs on 8 hits and a walk over 7 innings and only struck out 6 times against a guy who had 300 strikeouts in the regular season.