May 21, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Houston Astros first basemanChris Carter
(23) walks back to the dugout after striking out in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Coming into the season, the Astros subscribed to the increasingly popular notion that strikeouts don’t matter because an out is an out is an out. And that might be true on an individual level, but when you build a lineup full of guys that struggle to put the bat on the ball, you run into problems. You simply can’t apply this principle to an entire roster. Someone has to be able to put the ball safely in play when it counts, and not just from a general philosophical standpoint.
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Having more players in the lineup who can hit to contact and can provide sustained scoring will provide more comfort, more confidence and less pressing in the lineup. It seems as though everyone in the lineup, especially on the road, is swinging like they are the last line of defense.
They have to know that they don’t need to hit home runs in every at-bat to win games. This goes for both the lineup construction for the front office, as well as the approach (if there is any) being preached by hitting coach Dave Hudgens.
There’s a reason why those high-walk/high-strikeout Athletics teams struggled to excel the playoffs. The Astros will have the same problem. Houston is going to have to start caring about strikeouts.
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