Dodgers @ Cardinals July 19, 2014: The Magic Of The Outfield Rotation

There’s a fine magic that goes into trying to sort out an outfield situation that has Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, and Scott Van Slyke. It takes a deft touch, an innate ability to read the locker room, divine the attitude and atmosphere, and ever so carefully craft a lineup that will inevitably leave two players on the bench who won’t be happy about it. It’s a skill that can’t be taught. It takes a lifetime in baseball.

Dodgers
Cardinals
1:05 p.m. PT
St. Louis, Mo.
2B
Gordon
3B
Carpenter
LF
Crawford
2B
Wong
RF
Puig
LF
Holliday
SS
Ramirez
1B
Adams
1B
Gonzalez
SS
Peralta
CF
Ethier
RF
Tavares
3B
Uribe
C
Kottaras
C
Ellis
CF
Jay
P
Greinke (R)
P
Kelly (R)

Ha, I almost made it through that with a straight face. With Puig a given, and Van Slyke having faced St. Louis starter Joe Kelly just once — unless we’re counting the stare-off —  here’s the career batting averages of the other three against Kelly:

Ethier, .231
Kemp, .167
Crawford, .444

Guess which two are on the bench today, won’t you? I’m not saying that’s exactly why, but I’m also not saying it’s unrelated, either. And since we’re talking about a grand total of 29 plate appearances between the three, these numbers are, of course, completely and absolutely useless. Does that take more precedence than the fact that Kelly has a huge platoon split, allowing a .347 wOBA to lefties and just a .293 to righties? It’s a complicated dance. Bring me Joc Pederson, please.

And since we’re on the topic of Kelly, let’s remember that we’re here to watch baseball and not boxing, shall we? A disappointing number of Dodger fans, and at least one media member, is hoping that the team will throw at Kelly today as retribution for the pitch that broke Hanley Ramirez‘ rib in the NLCS last year, severely denting Dodger hopes. By absolutely every indication, Kelly’s pitch was not intentional; trying to throw at him now would prove nothing other than the fact that winning a baseball game is the goal.

Not that I expect that to happen, of course. And you’d think we’d remember how badly things can go when Zack Greinke is on the mound and being charged by angry opponents. It’s just distasteful to see people even suggesting it.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.