Astros: Base runners will be the key to the offense
By Clint Irle
The Astros were unable to produce runs without the long ball last night. They’ll need to base runners more often to help their offense at the plate.
Why Base Runners?
Base runners will give hitters the opportunity to get more quality pitches to hit. The pitcher is just as valuable when protecting the plate against runners advancing as the catcher. The Astros run well on the base paths.
This was on display during the ALCS, as the Astros used their abilities on the base paths to advance and score runs. Base runners apply pressure, and pressure is good for the hitters to capitalize on at the plate.
Adjustments Going Forward
As I wrote in a previous article, the Astros need to simplify their approach at the plate. Instead of searching for the home run, get a base hit. Better yet, draw a walk, if possible. Obviously, runs don’t come without base runners. But it’s much more than that.
These adjustments at the plate will give them opportunities on the base paths, resulting in bigger opportunities at the plate.
It starts with the Lead-Off Man
This offense is at its best when they combine their base running abilities with the ability to drive the baseball. The Astros will have much more success at the plate when there are runners to apply pressure from the base paths. George Springer is the prime candidate to start this trend. Although struggling as of late, he will need to find a way on base to let the rest of the lineup benefit from the pressure.
Next: Astros: Lack of Offense on the Road This Postseason
The Astros offense is one that produces runs in different ways. The offense gets better opportunities at the plate with runners on bases. Whether it’s a walk or a hit, the Astros need to find base runners early and often in tonight’s game and the rest of this series.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***