Mad Max Tames the Cubs
Posted on June 14, 2016
Last night’s game was one of the best games played by the Nats all year. For six innings Max Scherzer was perfect, and the Nats played small ball to beat the Cubs 4-1. Ramos got a homer thanks to Heywood reaching a bit too far to catch a ball before it landed in the Nats’ bullpen, but the bulk of our scoring came from having men on base and bats producing singles and doubles to bring them home. This game helped to erase the sting of the 4 game sweep by the Cubs in Chicago last month. It was also nice to see the Cubs actually pitching to Harper instead of intentionally walking him, as they did so many times during the last series.
I have to hand it to Joe Madden, the manager of the Cubs. The guy is a tactical genius. In the 7th he chose to walk Espinosa, thus loading the bases. He had two options. Either Dusty would elect to leave Scherzer in for the 8th, meaning Scherzer would be the next at bat, or Dusty would go for a pinch hitter. Dusty went for Stephen Drew to pinch hit, and Madden’s gamble worked, for Drew popped up, thus ending the threat. Madden and Baker remind me of Rommel and and Montgomery in North Africa in 1942. While Rommel was the more innovative and daring thinker, Montgomery had the advantage of more supplies and men to execute his overall winning strategy. I’m not going to say which manager is filling which role, but it’s exciting to watch.
Gio goes tonight. Let’s hope the magic of last night’s game is still around for tonight.