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Dodgers NLCS: Why Matt Beaty is in the Lineup Over Gavin Lux



The Dodgers are fighting to extend their season tonight in Atlanta. With everything on the line in Game 6, Los Angeles is hoping to pull out another win and force a Game 7 against the Braves for the second consecutive year. 

As the series heads back to Atlanta, Doc shook up the lineup a little bit. They will face off against right-handed pitcher Ian Anderson, a guy that the Dodgers knocked out of the game early in Game 2 of the NLCS. 

But rather than going with Gavin Lux in centerfield again, the Dodgers are moving Cody Bellinger out there. Matt Beaty gets the start at first base with Bellinger moving to the outfield. Roberts later explained that he liked the defensive positioning with Bellinger making the move to the outfield. 

Lux is not a centerfielder, but the Dodgers have played him there to get his bat in the lineup. That sacrifice led to a few unfortunate plays with Lux struggling on a few plays when the series was in Los Angeles. 

Dodgers Related: Doc Thinks Scherzer Gets the Ball in Game 7

Lux has also not hit in the NLCS as he did in the last month of the season. Across 14 at-bats in the postseason, Gavin has just 3 hits and has struck out 3 times. He’s getting on base thanks to some walks, but the bat just isn’t where the Dodgers need it to be. 

Matt Beaty has juts 1 hit in very limited opportunities in the postseason, but he proved during the year that he can hit when it matters. 

Dodgers NLCS: No Guarantee Max Scherzer Will Be Ready For Potential Game 7

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. Why is Walker B not bunting w/ 1 out and a guy on 1st base?????

    Small ball works too.

    Thanks Dave….

    D2

  2. Ya but I still think Pujols would have driven Pollock in! Just sayin. You don’t sit a HOFer!

  3. Whoever’s responsible for sabotaging game 2 needs to be fired by Stan Kasten. That game changed the series and is the reason we’re facing elimination with tired starters. How do you have 3 Cy young candidates in your rotation with the best bullpen and end up in this position? Oh we know how, by being an idiot

  4. The decisions of Roberts tonight make NO sense….

    Baseball 101

    There has to be something going on behind the scenes that none of us new aware of…..

    Again, with Walker B at bat, runner on 1st and he doesn’t bunt with Betts coming up????

    Common sense….

    D2

    • Staring at fastballs down the middle with 2 in scoring position is unacceptable. Those at bats by Souza and Betts were the worst of the season

        • Why not Lux rather than Souza? Ya I know a lefty pitcher but Lux clearly a better hitter!! Geez

          • Agree with everything you guys are saying. No bunts, no Barnes, no Lux to move guys over the plate. Just Souza. Even Betts might have surprised us AND Atlanta with a suicide squeeze with his speed up the line. When I saw Sauza come up to the plate, the cringe of my lifetime spread over my face. Sad, just very sad, decision making.

        • It was a microcosm of the way the season went. I’m with you–even with all of the injuries, it’s unfathomable that we actually saw Souza and even Burns at the plate in the biggest situations in the biggest games in the post season. With all of the resources the organization has, that’s unacceptable, even if better players had not done any better. It’s the principal of it that stinks.

          • Absolutely. FO failure. Braves re-did their entire outfield before the trade deadline. Dodgers glaring weakness, the bench, completely unaddressed!

          • As Tommy points out, the result might have been the same with someone other than Souza pinch-hitting but for gosh sakes was he the best option??? It’s the principle! And as someone else mentioned, a squeeze play (used in 2020 WS successfully) might have been in order as well. As much heart and desire they showed in game 5, it appeared to lacking in game 6, my two cents. Also the thing I’m most disappointed by.

    • Doug, doesn’t matter if you can’t execute 1-2 vs the #8 hitter with 2 outs. Or 1-2 vs hottest hitter. Giving up a gopher ball vs expand the strike zone and risk walking him, no damage! Instead bury your team and repeat title hopes.

    • And in the later inning with our guys on second and third, one out – I would have called upon Buehler to squeeze home a run. He has generally been very effective with his bunts. But, no, Ruin Our Chances Roberts decides to have the next two batters swing for the fences, as usual, and we lose yet another chance by leaving RISP. Dumb and dumber, but expected from this manager from what we saw all year.

    • I was beginning to compose one prior to game 5 lol. Had to hold off. It’s just embarrassing to get out-pitched.

    • It was a great year, shouldn’t have ended this way. Was preventable. Stupid analytics! Eyes worked well for over 100 years for a reason.

      • DF4L – from one old-school-er to another, I couldn’t agree more. This has to be one of the most frustrating seasons I ever watched from start to finish. Perhaps, “suffered through” is a better statement at this point.

  5. Braves had the Dodgers on the ropes last season in the NLCS and beat the Dodgers this year. So much focus on the Padres last season and this season so much focus and noise and effort and energy expended on the Padres and the Giants, but it’s the Braves that turned out to be the biggest challenge. Beating the Braves will need to be a bigger focus next year, for the Dodgers and for all contending teams in the N.L.
    On another note:
    Roberts in the post game interview, just now, saying that he’s not looking forward to decisions that the FO is going to have to make regarding Dodger Free Agents. He inferred that he knows that some key players may not be back and he said he’s not happy about the prospect of that happening.

    • Listening to CT3’s post-game interview…sounding like he wasn’t coming back. Unfathomable!

      • Did CT3 actually say anything concerning that? Maybe just down and out after tonight’s loss. I can’t think of a reason why he wouldn’t want to be back. He got all the playing time in the world.

        • Who knows at this point. Super challenging off-season for the FO. Don’t envy their task. 8 pending free agents.

  6. Dodger bullpen was better than the starters. Game 5 bullpen out-pitched Big Game in game 6. Go figure. Game has changed.

    • The offense or lack of is what cost Dodgers this game and thus ending their season. Among other things doing better against LHP can be a start. A couple of lean seasons may be on the horizon depending in part what takes place this off season. IDK.

      • Paul, wrong! Pitching cost the Dodgers in game 6! Can’t walk the 8 hitter on a 1-2 count with 2 outs!

        • Maybe so but that 7th inning when the Dodgers had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs and the next e batters striking out to end the inning was the game right there. Ya can blame pitching if ya want but after Rosario hit that HR, the pitching kept the Braves scoreless after that. But it’s the offense that laid an egg with 12 strikeouts.

  7. It is what it is but I’m just trying to understand how guys named Andy Burns and S. Souza are punch hitting in an elimination game while Lux and Barnes who have both had post season success sit on the bench?

    • Tim, absolutely unbelievable. Worst in game execution I’ve ever seen. You have a clear talent advantage and simply get out-executed. Inability to identify the danger hitters and act accordingly. Braves did that. Dodgers did not.

    • Barnes was unequivocally the best pinch-hitter all year. Made one appearance in the postseason. Went 8-25 = .320 in 2020! Unbelievable.

  8. I truly blame this Series loss on DR and the FO. Roberts handling of the pitching staff alone was a dagger in the heart.

    Lots of changes next year. One can only hope that Roberts is shown the door, and Friedman gets a good dressing down. I won’t watch an inning of the WS.

    • Dave, I agree that the “brain trust” is responsible for the greatest waste of talent in Dodger history. Having to constantly prove they were the smartest guy in the room. They out-smarted themselves right out of a repeat championship!

      WS will be an absolute joke. Houston will sweep the Braves in one of the most lop-sided WS in history, out-scoring the Braves by 150 runs!

      • This was the biggest mishandling of talent in all of the 9 seasons. How they won 106 is beyond me. They were frustrating to watch all year and then the calls by whoever is running this team got even worse somehow in October. Ownership needs to fire all who are involved

  9. The biggest blooper mistake of 2021? Letting both Hernandez and Pederson sign elsewhere.
    The bench was empty.
    Rely on Souza and Co. for a big hit? Wow.
    Betts, making $365 Million could not get his bat on the ball either?

  10. Mookie gave a really strange response in a postgame interview last nite. When asked if he was disappointed the way the season ended. He said he wasn’t disappointed at all. In and of itself the response could be overlooked. But what I noticed was the upbeat tone. He was also very nattily attired like he was going out on the town. He appeared to be in a hurry to get away. Isn’t he from the Atlanta area?
    Just seemed odd for a guy who just took two fastballs down the middle of the plate in the crucial point of the game. Not to mention he’s making $340 million

    • Tim, I almost threw the remote at the TV when I saw Mookie’s post game interview! I call that gall to the enth degree! Lost my respect entirely! Kid has gobs of talent but those comments were dispicable! And just the attitude!

    • Yeah, that postgame attitude and look bothered me a lot. Letting two centercut fastballs go by without a swing in the 7th and then KO with 2 RISP? That’s why the team paid him
      the big bucks to perform in those situations. Can’t expect much from guys like Souza and Burns but Mookie, he must produce! Also he looked like he was ready to celebrate instead of feeling a bad AB and a team loss. A bad look for a guy getting the big money to win games.

  11. The answer to the question as to why S. Souza was on roster isn’t a pretty one.
    He’s the best RH hitting option in the Dodgers farm system. What was once the envy of baseball is now a vast wasteland. Remember the Dodgers got him because another team DFA’d him. Then the Dodgers DFA’d him then took him back because no one else wanted him! And he’s the best they got.

  12. The future is excellent for the Dodgers. This team if healthy would’ve run the table. Having May and Bauer in the rotation changes everything, and we still almost pulled it off. Pen is solid add Kahnle. Now imagine, Sherzer, Bueller, Urias, May, Duffy and Kershaw next year. If they can just stay healthy forget about it.
    On offense, Taylor gets signed period. That leaves Seags. I’m a chemistry guy so I want him signed. And at catcher, let Cartaya compete next year and see what happens.

  13. Betts wasn’t disappointed, he has his million-dollar mansion, expensive cars, and lots of cash, and now he can get an early start to a vacation.

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