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:
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 3, 2018
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:
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 4, 2018
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:
https://t.co/B5vj6FNc9X – check out the OPS. Lefties at .579 while righties are .754
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) August 4, 2018
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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