Which team decides to run?
In the playoffs, speed becomes a big priority for teams as rosters usually could include one player that can steal a base late in a close game. For the Nats, speed and aggressive baserunning are what they have been known for in the last two years with Dusty Baker and Davey Lopes as their first base coach.
More from District on Deck
- Latest DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code in Maryland: Bet $5, Win $200 Guaranteed
- Nationals Claim Jeter Downs Off Waivers
- Washington Nationals Minor League Spotlight: Robert Hassell III
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- 3 Free Agents the Nationals Should Gamble On
That trend stayed the same against the Cubs this year as the Nats stole 13 bases with seven of them coming from Trea Turner. Michael Taylor also stole a couple of bases but those were the only two players with more than one steal.
Now, Turner won’t have the same success rate in the postseason because Miguel Montero is no longer behind the plate for the Cubs and Willson Contreras has a good arm. But, that game at least showed that the Nats are going to look to try to run in some of these games and try to manufacture runs if the home runs aren’t there.
Meanwhile, on the Cubs side, they didn’t steal many bases in September (12-for-19). Out of those 12 stolen bases, nobody had more than three (Jon Jay). With the way Matt Wieters has struggled behind the plate, don’t be surprised if Jay or Javier Baez try to take a base and hope for a throwing error into center field.
The Cubs only stole five bases against Washington in the regular season and the only players with more than one steal were Baez and Ian Happ. However, with Scherzer’s hamstring injury, don’t be surprised if the Cubs get aggressive on the bases in that game.