As I watched our series with the Braves, like everyone else, I focused on that series. In the back of my mind however, I was wondering how we’d match up with the two teams on the other side. After thinking about it, I thought the Nationals would be the worse matchup of the two. Turns out I was right, so far anyway.
So what do we do? Well first, Mike Shildt has to toss the idea of going toe to toe with the Nationals’ stud starters out the window. We have a better bullpen than the Nats and we need to use it. Wainwright was kept in too long in Game 2, for example, and we paid the the price. Shildt needs to be proactive, not reactive. Matching the Nats starters inning for inning with our starters has gotten us into an 0-2 hole and if we keep trying to do that, we could easily get swept.
On offense, it seems like we’ve focused more on power than making contact in this series. We need to change that. Our focus should be getting on base and manufacturing runs, not relying on the long ball. Use short compact swings on the few hittable balls we get and get on base.
When we do get on base, we need to be aggressive and maybe even steal some bases. Which is why I think we should start Tommy Edman at 3B for the rest of the series. I’ve long been a Matt Carpenter fan, as everyone knows, but Carp is a slowpoke, whereas Tommy stole 15 bases while only getting caught once. Edman hit for a better average as well, hitting .304 while Carp hit .226. Plus having Carp available to pinch hit isn’t a bad thing, even if he didn’t have a good regular season. I really hope Carp bounces back next year because I’m a huge fan, but right now Edman is the better option.
If we do all the things I’ve mentioned, maybe we’ll be able to work our way back into this series.
As always, thanks for reading.