It’s been a tale of two offenses this postseason. The Astros need runs now more than ever on the road against the Dodgers.
I know, it’s easy for us fans to throw out advice, even though we have no idea what it’s like to be in the situation facing the Astros and their offense on the road. However, there’s an underlying fundamental that applies to all sports. When you’re struggling, simplify.
Lacking a Pulse
Since the ALDS, the Astros offense has been soft on the road. Last night was another lackluster game, having only produced one run on three hits. Furthermore, the run scored by a solo home run from Alex Bregman.
Yes, Clayton Kershaw was on the mound, but it’s more than that. In the three road games of the ALCS, the Stros looked lost at the plate. The swings were erratic, sometimes pulling their heads out of the swing altogether.
It is symbolic of the 2015 Astros hitting montage. The team lived and died on the long ball. However, the 2017 Stros are different. Numerous times through the season they manufactured runs. The recorded tons of extra-base hits, singles, and home runs. The approach was simple, the more we hit, the more the ball leaves the park. This is the approach we want to see tonight going forward.
"The Astros’ Bewildering Offensive Approach"
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs touched on the woes the Astros faced against the Dodgers pitching of last night. He noted that many times throughout the game, Astros hitters did not swing at clear strikes. Moreover, they often were caught swinging wildly at pitches out of the zone. His recommendation is for the Astros to swing the bat. They should not let so many strikes in the middle of the zone get away.
Game 2 Adjustments
Rich Hill is a fastball/curveball pitcher. He throws the pitches more than 85% of the time. The Astros have an opportunity to take advantage of that. Simplify the approach at the plate, by taking quality swings at these strikes in the heart of the zone.
Hitters need to stay within themselves and find base hits. This will compound into bigger hits. This will put runners on base, and pressure the pitchers. The Stros have great and baserunners, so now is the time to use them.
***Stats and Data courtesy of Brooks Baseball, MLB.com, and ESPN***