Imagine if Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker elected to not use his best closer during a tie game in the bottom of the ninth. Imagine the backlash he’d face afterwards.
That’s a real scenario for Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
Maddon kept Wade Davis out of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series during a tie game in the bottom of the ninth. Instead, Maddon used John Lackey — who promptly gave up a walk-off home run in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I really just needed him for the save tonight,” Maddon said.
As you can imagine, Maddon’s comment did not go over well. Many people pointed out the similarities to Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter not using closer Zach Britton last year during Baltimore’s wild card game.
The Cubs trail the Dodgers 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.