Carpenter, Trout approaches at plate reflect the changing times

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ST. LOUIS -- The payoff for hitters to take pitches is just not there the way it used to be, Matt Carpenter explained on Saturday as he talked about a notable change in his approach at the plate, which happens to be the same change Mike Trout -- and others, perhaps -- are also making in 2015.

For years, a common collective approach for hitters has been to take pitches early in games, even if it meant giving up a strike or two, in order to drive up the pitch counts of opposing starters and get into the opponents' middle relief, long perceived as the soft underbelly of staffs.

"Getting down in the count nowadays just isn't a good plan," said Carpenter, who presumably will hit first for the Cardinals when they play the Reds on Sunday Night Baseball.