Dusty Baker vs. Joe Maddon
If these two teams do end up playing in the NLDS, then the managerial matchup will be in the spotlight. Maddon wasn’t the manager of the Angels in 2002, but he did win a World Series ring on the coaching staff against Baker’s Giants. Then, last year, Maddon won the World Series as the manager of the Cubs.
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Last season, Baker didn’t make any bad decisions in the NLDS against the Dodgers, but Dave Roberts made bold moves that ended up working out in his favor. That being said, Baker doesn’t have a good track record in close out games in the playoffs.
While this isn’t the playoffs, there is one thing to look out for with each manager in this series. With Maddon, it’s going to be about whether or not he decides to pitch to Bryce Harper. Does Harper’s slump play a factor in his decision or does he pitch around him and make Ryan Zimmerman beat him?
As for Baker, it’s going to be about how he uses the bullpen and the new arms in it. During the Marlins series, the decisions to bring Matt Albers in with runners on backfired on him. If the top starting pitchers don’t pitch this weekend, then Baker has to be aware not to use them too long and have somebody ready in the bullpen.
What storylines will you be watching this weekend when the Washington Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs? Let us know in the comments section below.