Jon Heyman, sportswriter for CBS Sports and MLB Network, joined the Junks this morning to talk playoff baseball and break down the Nats series against the Cards.
With the series tied at one game apiece, Heyman gives both teams an equal shot at moving on to the National League Champion Series.
While Game 3 is important for both squads, Heyman doesn’t consider it a must win for the Nats. He stressed the importance of postseason experience, which the Nationals are sorely lacking. “Experience does matter, and St. Louis has a lot of it,” Heyman said.
Heyman calls Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter one of the premiere postseason pitchers of the past several decades, although he’s unsure how he will play after returning from his recent injury.
Nats fans have expressed frustrations over a lack of home games at night. “The Yankees will always get the night games,” Heyman said. He told fans to take full advantage of home playoff games, regardless of the time they’re scheduled. “You only make the playoffs once every 70 years, so you might as well pull your kids out of school [to watch the game].”
When asked about the Yankees, Heyman said that while the team is aging, Jeter remains a “miracle worker.” Heyman defended A-Rod when J.P. mentioned his struggles in the playoffs. “A lot of people pick on him, say he’s not clutch. But I think that’s generally the case for sluggers,” Heyman said. “If you are a .300 hitter in the regular season, you will often be a .250 hitter in the playoffs.”
Texas’ Josh Hamilton pending free agency was also brought up to Heyman. The Rangers have “had their fill of Josh Hamilton at this point,” Heyman said. He predicts the slugger will sign with a small market team. He expects Hamilton will garner a shorter term contract, four or five years, worth around $25 million per year.
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