The 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers are the National League West Division Champions for the fourth straight year. The feat is a first the Dodgers and for any team in the history of the National League West Division. The Dodgers are one game back of the Washington Nationals for home field advantage in the National League Division Series.
Many last of occasions for the weekend series in Los Angeles against the Colorado Rockies. The last 2016 regular season games at Dodger Stadium. The soon to be last of the expanded rosters and the end of the 2016 regular season after three games in San Diego against the Padres and then final series in San Francisco against the Giants.
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Beloved man and never to forget voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully, has called his last game at Dodger Stadium. He has three games left in his illustrious 67-year story for a career that started back in April 1950 in Brooklyn, New York, at Ebbets Field. You can read more about that in “Vin Scully on life and lessons from his rookie year with the 1950 Dodgers,” from Sports Illustrated by David J. Halberstam.
“When you retire at 89, the only answer to what are you going to do is…I’m going to try to live.”
– Vin Scully
Depending on whom you speak with, many or several players on the Dodgers current roster may see their last games in a Dodger uniform as the rosters contract going into the 2016 playoffs along with team salary going into the 2017 regular season. Where Scully has already stated he will not call the Dodgers playoff games, he will also share the last lineup cards of his career.
Going forward, we must remember a few things. To remember how blessed we are to have him in our hearts and minds. A man so gifted and consistent that we may be tempted to feel upset or short-changed that he is now hanging them up after 67-years. How blessed we are to be graced with his presence, character, and the voice of a man too humble to take credit.
“I needed you more than you needed me.”
– Vin Scully
You can read Vin Scully’s full letter to the fan’s here from MLB.com’s Dodgers Insider.
We're not crying…YOU'RE crying. #VIN?
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 26, 2016
Back to 1950 for a moment, Scully’s first call of the Brooklyn Dodgers lineup included Hall of Fame ballplayers Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, and Jackie Robinson. His last lineup card will be heard and presented on Sunday, October 2, 2016 in San Francisco, which may include the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, Kenley Jansen, and many more. Is it not fitting that Scully ends his career with Dave Roberts at the managerial helm. The same Dave Roberts who happens to be the first minority manager in Dodgers history and the second manager of Asian descent in Major League Baseball history where Vin “The Voice” Scully started his career three-years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier (1947).
Well, “Back to this one,” as Scully often says before going back to calling a game after telling us a story, we are here and you might be inclined know what the lineup card and roster for game one of the National league Division Series might look like if the post season were to begin Monday, September 26, 2016. Here we go:
Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals (Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., USA)
Starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (LHP) vs. Max Scherzer (RHP)
- Chase Utley (2B)
- Corey Seager (SS)
- Justin Turner (3B)
- Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
- Josh Reddick (RF)
- Yasmani Grandal (C)
- Howie Kendrick (LF)
- Joc Pederson (CF)
- Clayton Kershaw (SP)
Bench: Yasiel Puig, Andrew Toles, Carlos Ruiz, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Barnes.
Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, and Rich Hill.
Bullpen: Kenley Jansen (CL/RHP), JP Howell (LHP), Joe Blanton (RHP), Grant Dayton (LHP), Adam Liberatore (LHP), Pedro Baez (RHP), Ross Stripling (RHP), Louis Coleman (RHP), and Julio Urias (LHP).
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There are no surprises here except possibly Austin Barnes (2B/C), however, as Barnes would be a third catcher. The issue here though is health and current contributions. Andre Ethier does not look one-hundred percent running or hitting, but Barnes could fill in for the outfield, infield, behind the plate, or as a pinch hitter. If Barnes does not make the twenty-five man roster, the likely replacement is Andre Ethier because of his veteran experience. There is also a possibility that the Dodgers drop a reliever or bench player in favor of a fourth starting pitcher like Brandon McCarthy or Scott Kazmir.
Take notice that because Max Scherzer is a right-handed pitcher, the Dodgers starting lineup is stacked with left-handed bats for game one. You could expect the opposite for the right to left switch with the team’s deep bench. The bullpen and starting pitchers are nearly evenly divided between lefties and righties based on match-ups, regular season performance, and playoff experience.
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The lineup and smaller roster for the playoff-bound Dodgers looks very similar to the regular season lineup because ingredients that lead to success should always be duplicated (e.g., The Dodgers won their 90th game Sunday on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run and the team will look to close out the regular season with six more wins to finish with 96 victories and 66 loses).
The remainder of the regular season and the post season will be a wonderful baseball experience filled with congratulations and maybe award-winning recognition(s) to the team, players, manager, coaches, and tributes to our beloved Vin Scully. In the words of Scully himself, two lines that have never been said following the other: “Good night everybody … and It’s time for Dodger [playoff] baseball!”
“God has been so generous to allow me all this time, when I look back and I think, ‘I’ve had so many yesterdays, but I’m not sure how many tomorrows.’ I feel it’s best to see if I can enjoy whatever tomorrows are left.”
– Vin Scully from his interview with Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 9/25/2016
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