STATE OF THE DODGERS LINEUP
True to his word, Don Mattingly has continued to mix up the lineup, get guys rest and find ways to get key bench guys at-bats. With the exception of Andre Ethier, who is dealing with shin splints, the Dodgers lineup appears to be getting healthy and ready for the postseason. That being said, here’s the lineup to expect once the playoffs start:
1-Yasiel Puig, RF
2-Carl Crawford, LF
3-Hanley Ramirez, SS
4-Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5-Matt Kemp, CF
6-Juan Uribe, 3B
7-A.J. Ellis, C
8-Mark Ellis, 2B
Most important in that equation is Kemp. Kemp started all three games of the series, going 5-for-11 with a homer, a double, three RBI and two runs scored. On top of that, Kemp didn’t strike out once in the series and moving forward offensively, Kemp is the x-factor.
If Kemp plays like the MVP candidate he was in 2011, the Dodgers won’t be stopped in the postseason. If he presses and struggles, it could be a different story. Carl Crawford also had a great series going 6-for-13 with two doubles and a triple while starting all three games of the series. Crawford can be a pest in the lineup for the Dodgers especially if he and Puig both get on-base for the middle of the lineup.
OFF FIELD VIOLENCE CASTS DARK SHADOW
The Dodgers/Giants rivalry took another ugly turn off the field. A 24-year-old Dodgers fan, who was attending the game with his dad for his birthday, was killed by a group of Giants’ fans blocks away from AT&T Park after Wednesday night’s game. There’s not really too much to say about that as it was a senseless act of violence, sadly, a common occurrence in this world. If you want to shoot somebody, pick up a copy of GTA or Call of Duty. No game is worth somebody’s life and I won’t say anymore about the subject.
The Dodgers will head home for the final three games of the season against the Colorado Rockies. Clayton Kershaw will make his final start of the season, one that will probably be short. The Rockies will send Collin McHugh to the mound and he is 0-3 with an 8.59 ERA.
The Rockies have fallen to last place in the NL West and they just split a two-game interleague set with the Boston Red Sox. Kershaw and Zack Greinke should get final tune up starts before the playoffs and Dodger fans will have one final chance to bid farewell to Rockies’ star Todd Helton, who is retiring after 17 seasons. The mountain man burned the Dodgers’ countless times over his big league career, one played exclusively with the Rockies.
Helton is a career .317 hitter with 369 career home runs and 1400 career RBI and has also walked nearly 150 more times than he’s struck out in his career. He is a class act, and I hope he claims a rightful spot in the Hall of Fame.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!