Washington Nationals: top 5 Dusty Baker quotes from May 2017

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Strategy Against A Knuckleball

Since Baker was a former player, it’s always good to see him talk about the strategy that he gives his players today. On May 19, the Nats were at SunTrust Park to take on the Atlanta Braves and R.A. Dickey, who is one of the few knuckleball pitchers in the game today.

The irony of that night against Dickey was that all four runs scored against him last night by the offense were scored against the famous knuckleball. Trea Turner had a RBI single and Bryce Harper had a two-run double in the third. Two innings later, Daniel Murphy hit a two-run home run.

In two games against the Nats this season, Dickey doesn’t have a win and he’s given up seven runs in 12.1 innings, including a pair of home runs.

Over the course of his career, Baker had success against knuckleballers. Against Phil Niekro, he only hit .194, but nine of his 19 hits against him were for extra-bases, including six home runs. Also, he had two home runs and eight RBI’s in 72 at-bats against Joe Niekro (courtesy of Baseball Reference).

One of the benefits of having a former player as a manager is the ability for players to pick their brain and learn from the manager’s past experiences. By being able that, it allows the player to better adjust to that situation. It’s safe to say Baker has many stories about strategy to tell to his players now.