Former Cubs outfielder, bench coach set to manage in World Series after downing Cardinals


by - Senior Writer -
Former Chicago Cubs outfielder and bench coach Dave Martinez led the Washington Nationals to the Fall Classic. (Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Chicago Cubs outfielder and bench coach Dave Martinez led the Washington Nationals to the Fall Classic. (Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After standing at 19-31 and rumored to be exploring trade options that would jumpstart a rebuilding phase, the Washington Nationals pulled off a stunning turnaround that saw them finish the regular season at 93-69. Then, the Nationals accrued a comeback win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wild Card Game and followed that up by upsetting the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in the NLDS.

Dave Martinez, who played as an outfielder for the Cubs from 1986-88 and again in 2000, is the manager of the Nationals, and he took the helm there in 2018 after serving as the Cubs' bench coach under skipper Joe Maddon from 2015-17. Martinez was on the hot seat earlier in the season, so the Nationals reaching the World Series for the first time in franchise history, even dating back to the Montreal Expos days, indicates how far that Martinez has come.

The Nationals secured a 4-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS on Tuesday night, with the Nationals jumping out to an early 7-0 lead and going on to win 7-4 at Nationals Park. Veteran Nationals second baseman Howie Kendrick earned NLCS MVP honors. Washington will now await the winner of the ALCS battle between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. As for Martinez, leading a team to the World Series in just his second season as a big-league manager is quite the accomplishment.

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