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Dodgers: Doc Explains Going With AJ Pollock Over Gavin Lux



The Dodgers will look to even things up against the Giants tonight in the Divison Series. Facing the potential of going down 2 games in a best-of-5, Dave Roberts shook things up a little bit with the lineup. He slid Cody Bellinger over to first base and brought Wild Card Game hero Chris Taylor back into the fold. 

But many also wondered if Roberts would continue to use AJ Pollock in left field. For as good as he has been for the Dodgers in 2021, Pollock has not looked comfortable in the box in the first 2 games of this postseason. He went o-for-3 on Friday night and struck out twice, often swinging at very bad pitches. 

Alternatively, Gavin Lux has received just 1 at-bat in the playoffs so far. The Dodgers could use him out in leftfield, a position that he learned over the final few weeks of the season to get more opportunities. But as Doc explained on Saturday afternoon, the body of work for Pollock meant more to him. 

Giants’ starter has relatively even splits against lefties and righties. And AJ Pollock has hit much better overall against right-handed pitching than Gavin Lux has with a .902 OPS. But Lux also ended the season on fire at the plate, slashing .367/.466/.510 in the month of September. But again, Pollock also finished with a really good month aside from missing time. 

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So while the decision may not sit well with fans, the numbers are there to support it. But if the Dodgers offense fails to get going again, don’t be surprised to see Doc go with Gavin against a righty starter. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Bollinger should be benched. Pumps should start on first base. Roberts is to stupid to see that. He is not a good manger he needs to be replaced. Pumps is hitting much better than Bellinger. When the Dodgers go down in flames many the Dodgers will finally see that. They won last year inspire of Roberts.

      • Ya, ya, ya Pollock FINALLY gets a couple of hits when the game is well in hand by the Dodgers. Let’s see him do it when it really matters! Bellinger’s double was much, much bigger! Belllinger also hit the game winning HR vs the Braves last year in game 7 to send the Dodgers to the WS! Let’s see, former NL MVP vs mostly Play-off dud, I’ll back Bellinger over Pollock all day long. Pollock struck out 11 times in 13 AB’s vs the Nats in 2019! Simply unbelievable. But nice going last night AJ. Keep it up!

      • Indeed. Pollock had a good game. AND he at least was a very good player ALL year.

        Pollock drove in TWICE the runs for the year as Belli, and batted .297 vs .150

        If Belli was even an average player for the year, we would have won the division.
        —————

        • Bubbalousky, with all due respect, I don’t give a rats behind what you did in the regular season if you can’t repeat it on the big stage!! Ask Giants fans about their home run king Barry Bonds! Never part of any WS win! Playoff bust!

          • Kike Hernandez a lifetime .240 hitter went 5 for 6 with a HR and 3 doubles in Red Sox game 2 win vs. Rays. First AB today? Single to left! Kid just turns it up every postseason, just like he did for the Dodgers! Biggest mistake by the FO was to let him leave via FA! You simply don’t let a proven playoff performer leave!!

    • Gosh he got one RBI hit and 3 SOs, in a game that LA scored 9 runs.

      When a crappy pitcher arrives, so does Belli. He’s always feasted on so-so pitchers.

      BTW Even Pollack got his RBI hit as well. with only 1 SO and a walk.

      HE must be gold, by your standards.
      ———————————————-

      Belli didn’t had a good night, like most of the lineup. That’s good. But getting on your high horse and proclaiming he’s back, is goofy.

  2. The simple fact the Dodgers are here is a testament to the management and Dave Roberts. Kershaw is out! The number one starter for years is out. Don’t underestimate the Giants though, dodger stadium is like the 10’th player. Trust in Roberts to get the lineup right.
    Lifelong Dodgers fan (East la)

    • DR is only the winningest manager in baseball history by percentage, not total wins because he’s only managed for 6 years.

      I wouldn’t be at surprised to see Albert Pujols get the start on Monday vs the lefty Wood. I would also not be surprised if Bellinger sits with CT3 in CF again and Barnes behind the plate.

      Let’s go Dodgers!

      • I’d be down with that. Lux sat for the right reasons – doc was right again. Barnes has to catch one of these games tomorrow or Tuesday. Does Mad Max need him more than the bullpen game on Tuesday? Or does Buehler pitch on 3 days rest Tuesday?

    • Geo, Jury still deliberating on Pollock. 11 strikeouts in 13 AB’s vs the Nats! Last night he was riding the momentum provided ahead of him. I want to see his CT3 moment in postseason before I’m sold. But at least an improvement! Keep it up AJ. I may criticize, but I’ll root for ya nonetheless!

  3. When Barnes is behind the plate,, it’d sure be nice to see Smith at first base, having been worked out there, if DR has worked with him there to make it feasible.

    • Speakinup, sorry no way. He has absolutely no experience at 1B. Can’t put him there in a playoff game! His bat is huge, we all know. Barnes is a much better defensive catcher and he hit a HR in the WS!

      Kike Hernandez update…3-3 today with a HR and 2 RBIs. Making him 8-9 in two games!!!! Andrew Friedman is kicking himself in the rear! How in the world do let a guy who hit 3 HR’s in one game in the postseason get away?????

      • Dodgerfan4life, I saw your other posts about Kike and cconcur. I wish he was on our PS roster instead of with Red Sox. But again, Dodgers could’ve paid him for sure but not granting what he wanted and that’s being an everyday starter like he apparently is with Red Sox

        • Dodgers goofed big time with Kike. Too short-sighted. Find a way to make him an everyday player. Gold glover at multiple positions! Dodgers couldn’t handle his relatively low regular season batting average. His postseason production is UNBELIEVABLE!

  4. To me, it’s a no-brainer. Forget about post-season history…A.J. is a better hitter, much better left fielder (than Lux who has no real history there) and has (mostly) been able to make the necessary adjustments required in the post season. Lux is a fine young player but it is risky to have him start over A.J.

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