Face it, we all were thinking the same thing at the same time except for Mike Matheny and Derek Lilliquist. Why pitch to Bryce Harper? Don’t throw him a strike. Keep the ball down, very down. Even when he’s struggling at the plate, Bryce Harper knows how to put a good swing on a bad pitch
I don’t care what kind of slump Bryce Harper was in, don’t let him come out of it against the Cardinals. Some times we think we are better than we are. I’m fairly confident Mike Leake considered his stuff so good that even Bryce Harper wouldn’t catch up to it.
Chew on this fact. It was just a short few weeks ago the Chicago Cubs swept the Washington Nationals. Do you know how they did it?
That is the pitch chart from Fangraphs that shows where the pitches were located as they approached Harper at the plate.
He’s become simply too dangerous, and he’s become so dangerous it doesn’t matter that he hasn’t been particularly dangerous for a couple of weeks. The Cubs knew better than that and the Cardinals needed to follow suit.
In most cases they started out trying to get Harper out in Chicago but never came close and eventually just committed to the base on balls. Harper is good and needs to be patient and wait for the mistake pitch.
He did that facing Mike Leake as the ball was belt high and the most “hittable” pitch he could handle. Sure, as a fan it is not fun watching Harper walk 6 times in a game as they want to watch him swing the bat.
However, it is the managers job to win games and as much as I am not a Joe Maddon fan they did do the correct thing and came away with a sweep.
The next three games the Cardinal pitchers need to make Ryan Zimmerman beat them, not Bryce Harper.
Cardinals: 1B Matt Adams left in the fifth inning with mid-back stiffness. He will be re-examined Friday. … INF Jhonny Peralta will report to Double-A Springfield on Friday after going 3 for 13 in five rehab games at Single-A Peoria. Peralta was operated on in March to repair an injured ligament in his left thumb. Matheny says, “He’s one guy on the immediate radar to help us.”
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (3-4, 3.59 ERA) enters Friday night’s game in bounce-back mode after giving up a total of eight runs and 15 hits in his last two starts.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (5-3, 3.80) is 1-2 lifetime against St. Louis, but he threw seven shutout innings against the Cardinals on May 1.
In Memphis last night Tommy Pham got three hits in three at bats and is making it difficult to keep in down on the Farm for the Cardinals.