Washington Nationals: 2016 NLDS Tale Of The Tape
By Ricky Keeler
Managers: Dave Roberts vs. Dusty Baker
This battle between the two managers is going to be interesting to say the least. You have one manager in Roberts who will be managing his first postseason. As for Baker, he’s been a manager in this big stage before from his time with the Giants, Reds, and Cubs.
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When I filled out my IBWAA ballot yesterday, my top two choices for manager of the year in the National League were Roberts and Baker. With all of the pitching injuries the Dodgers had to deal with this year, Roberts did a great job to navigate that team to a NL West title.
Roberts took some heat twice this season when he pulled Ross Stripling and Rich Hill while they were going for no-hitters, but he did the right thing in keeping those pitchers healthy.
This season, Dusty Baker was the right manager the Nats needed after the debacle that was last season. He was able to bring the clubhouse together and I liked that he let his starters go deep into games and trusted them to get out of key situations.
One aspect of the game that I want to see how each manager utilizes in this series is their bench. Two reserves on the Dodgers to watch are outfielders Andrew Toles (.314, one home run, 16 RBI’s in 48 games) and Andre Ethier (eight RBI’s in 35 career playoff games).
On the Washington Nationals, Stephen Drew had a great month of September filling in for Murphy at second base (.296, one home run, four RBI’s). Two other names to watch are infielder Wilmer Difo and outfielder Brian Goodwin, should they make the NLDS roster.
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Advantage: I am going to go with Baker because of the postseason experience, but this one is a close call. With that being said, Roberts has done a great job in his first year in a big city like Los Angeles.