Cubs @ Dodgers August 1, 2014: If It ‘Aint Broke, Don’t Fix It, I Guess

Things that continue to happen that are difficult to believe: Andre Ethier sits again — he hasn’t started or played defense since July 22 — and Carl Crawford, hitting 163/.245/.209 in 49 plate appearances since returning from the disabled list, once again hits higher than Matt Kemp, hitting .983/.999/1.498 over the last two weeks. (Approximately.)

Cubs
Dodgers
7:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
2B
Alcantara
2B
Gordon
LF
Coghlan
CF
Puig
1B
Rizzo
1B
Gonzalez
SS
Castro
SS
Ramirez
3B
Valbuena
LF
Crawford
CF
Sweeney
RF
Kemp
C
Castillo
3B
Turner
LF
Schierholtz
C
Ellis
P
Hendricks (R)
P
Haren (R)

It’s easy to argue that neither of those things make any sense. But then you look at the past week, when the Dodgers swept the Giants and the Braves, riding a six-game winning streak into a season-high 3.5 game lead in the NL West, and it suddenly becomes clear, at least when trying to read Don Mattingly‘s tea leaves. It’s working, so don’t screw it up. That’s a bit of thinking I often disagree with, because good results do not always mean that there was good process, but it’s at least a pretty believable thing to point to as for “why.”

Not that I really care all that much about Ethier riding the bench, of course, since he’s been lousy all season, and to his credit, he’s held his tongue (publicly, at least) about any displeasure he may be feeling. It’s just that at some point you’re going to need to call on him, whether it’s when Crawford gets hurt, or in a late-inning situation, or a double-switch, and if all this time on the bench has made him less likely to produce when that time comes, well, that’s not great.

* * *

In the meantime, the Cubs! Or at least, the remnants of the team that used to have Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, James Russell, and Emilio Bonifacio. They still have Anthony Rizzo, who is a true superstar, and Starlin Castro, having a good season. They also have Kyle Hendricks, part of the return for Ryan Dempster in 2012, making his fourth major league start, and we all know how the Dodgers tend to do against pitchers they’ve never seen before.

In theory, this is the right lineup for Dan Haren to get healthy against, but then again, who knows if that’s even possible for Haren any longer. Justin Turner gives Juan Uribe a rest at third base; A.J. Ellis, despite a sore knee, is in there again.

Of note: the game is being broadcast by WGN in Chicago, which still shows up on many networks throughout the nation. It’s at least possible that it won’t be blacked out in Los Angeles; though it’s not guaranteed, it’s at least worth looking.

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.