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Dodgers Lineup: Game Two Against Houston Was Confusing



Like most of you, I was shocked at the lineup that was posted for the Dodgers for game two against the Astros on August 4th.  To be honest, I was not happy with the game one lineup, but wasn’t very vocal about it. So, let’s start with game 1:

This was the lineup against Justin Verlander. Dodgers’ management put Brian Dozier on the bench after hitting home runs in the previous two games.  At the same time, Matt Kemp and Max Muncy, both struggling a lot, were in the lineup and were batting back to back.  Instead, Chris Taylor should be been in center field, Muncy on the bench with Cody Bellinger at first base, and Dozier at second base.  The defense is much better and at least one of the slumping players is sitting (Yasiel Puig for Kemp would have worked also) against one of the best pitchers in the game.  Verlander mowed through the lineup.

For game 2, against right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., the lineup was as follows:

So, yes, against a right-handed starter the Dodgers were going with an all right-handed batting lineup.  I did some research and found the only possible reason:

OK, that is interesting.  However, there are two glaring omissions; a hot Joc Pederson (leadoff HRs galore) and a heating up Cody Bellinger.  Again, the slumping Matt Kemp is in the lineup.  For the season Austin Barnes has been bad at the plate but Yasmani Grandal needs to rest.  So I’d have replaced Kemp with Pederson and Bellinger for Kiké Hernández.  Those guys are either hot or heating up and to not have them in doesn’t make sense and the defense is better.  To be honest, I really don’t know what the players thought when they were notified of the order.  It doesn’t seem that management put the team into a place to win and it is showing.  As I’m writing this the team is playing dead and getting hammered 14-0 in the top of the 9th.  Players know when something isn’t right and I bet they knew this was not a plan that put the best foot forward.

As they move forward this is how I’d do the lineup.

  • Catcher – clearly Grandal and I hope they can make an August trade to replace Barnes. He needs to be in AAA.
  • 1B – Cody Bellinger
  • 2B – Brian Dozier
  • SS – Manny Machado.  He does need a day off though.
  • 3B – Justin Turner with Muncy giving him a day off once a week.
  • LF – platoon Joc Pederson and Matt Kemp
  • CF – Chris Taylor
  • RF – Yasiel Puig

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Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

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  1. Lineup against righties:

    1. Pederson CF
    2. Hernandez LF
    3. Machado SS
    4. Puig RF
    5. Grandal C
    6. Muncy 3B
    7. Bellinger 1B
    8. Utley 2B
    9. Pitcher

  2. I believe strongly that Taylor is a better batter when he plays center field. Maybe the less stressful position of not having 100 mph line drives hit at you from 100 feet away. Don’t know, but it sure appears he is more relaxed at the plate when playing center. I am not a great believer in taking well-hitting batters out just because the guy throwing the ball is right or left handed. I hate platoons! I think Bellinger is a better hitter when he plays first. He seems more confident. I think Kemp probably could use a 10 day vacation. He looks sore all over. Muncy and Kike can be the guys to give the regulars a day off. Barnes is a good defender, so I think using him as the back up to give Grandal a day off and at the end of long games is fine. Puig is the best right fielder when he is sound. Joc is the best left fielder. Ok, gonna say it, hate me if you want: No Dodger should ever again be permitted to participate in the Home Run Derby. Last year, Cody even said his arms got really tired. I cannot think of one Dodger who has competed in the Home Run Derby and then NOT had an issue batting for the next 30 + days.

  3. I remember the game where BDozi was out of the lineup after swinging a hot bat and knowing Verlander from the AL. I thought, ‘vintage nonsense from DRobe’, we’re going to strike out 1000 times today. I was off a little, we struck out 16 times. R

  4. Blame Roberts for the poor lineups in these games. Blame all management for allowing players to participate in the HR Derby. Every game is crucial and I have seen enough games this season lost by one run to make me angry. Injuries to key players have killed us, but so have mistakes which don’t show up in the box score

  5. I feel like we need one steady lineup, especially for defensive purposes. They need to be able to intuitively know where to go. All this “versatility” and “righty/lefty” seems to lead to sloppy defense which leads to runs against. The batting will take care of itself.

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