Game #116 Nats have 3 games to win against the Cubs

Photo by Luis Albisu for TalkNats

Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez returns to Wrigley Field for the first time as a visitor in a few years. Martinez was Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon‘s bench coach from 2006 to 2017 and Martinez was Maddon’s bench coach in Chicago from 2015 to 2017. Many years before that, Martinez made his MLB debut as a player for the Cubs in 1986. 

This game will get some extra attention because of the Maddon-Martinez connection, but also how Maddon in recent years used Jedi mind tricks on Dusty Baker‘s line-up construction. Bryce Harper was the reigning NL MVP in 2016 when the Nationals rolled into Wrigley Field in early May of that season and walked Harper 6-times in one game while Ryan Zimmerman batting behind Harper set a single-game record for stranding 14 runners on base. In fact, Maddon intentionally walked Harper twice to load the bases in front of Zimmerman.

Martinez has been questioned many times this season for his line-up construction. Today, he will have some more challenges in his line-up. Many of the Nats hitters have struggled against today’s starter, Kyle Hendricks, who is right-handed but also has some reverse splits. Matt Adams is a career 1-13, Zimmerman 0-9, but Mark Reynolds is 4-5 which is an .800 batting average. Small sample sizes is all you usually have in match-ups. Zimmerman has been getting the bulk of the starts recently, and Dave Martinez has seemed to favor Zimmerman lately even when the stats say “no”.  As they say, even if one hitter gets two hits in a game does not mean that another would not have done the same or better.

The Nationals have Jeremy Hellickson pitching today in another of these games the Nats really need to win.

Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs
Stadium:  Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
1st Pitch: 2:20 pm EDT
TV:  MASN; MLB.TV app out-of-network
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

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