Nationals @ Dodgers Sept. 2, 2014: Joc! Joc Pederson!

Housekeeping: Erisbel Arruebarrena, Miguel Rojas and Carlos Frias have been added to the active roster, which now stands at 33. Frias will start tomorrow’s matinee.

Nationals
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles, Ca.
3B
Rendon
2B
Gordon
2B
Cabrera
SS
Ramirez
RF
Werth
1B
Gonzalez
SS
Desmond
RF
Kemp
C
Ramos
LF
Crawford
CF
Harper
3B
Uribe
LF
Hairston
CF
Pederson
1B
Frandsen
C
Ellis
P
Fister (R)
P
Kershaw (L)

Main event: Joc Pederson! Ahhhhhhhh Joc Pederson! As I anticipated last night, Pederson gets his first start in place of Yasiel Puig, who has been struggling terribly, with a horrendous .198/.287/.229 line over the last month. (That Puig, who didn’t know he would have the day off, arrived at the ballpark just five minutes before he was expected to be dressed and on the field, probably isn’t helping either.) Puig needs to play to break out of his slump, and he will. It’s not Puig that should be worried here, but rather Andre Ethier, because if Pederson plays well enough to force his way onto the playoff roster, it won’t be Puig who loses his spot.

That’s a long way off, though, and tonight, we have the excitement of seeing Pederson and Bryce Harper — who is still six months younger than Pederson — in the same center field, which is pretty exciting. That Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in the game, is facing off against Doug Fister, who quietly has been outstanding, is fun too. This is very easily a possible playoff preview, and don’t let the incompetence of Roberto Hernandez last night tell you otherwise.

Of course, while we’re all amped up for Pederson, with good reason, the fact is that the rest of this lineup needs to get going, too. Hanley Ramirez has hit just .204/.250/.306 over the last month. Dee Gordon, .243/.250/.291. A.J. Ellis, .179/.317/.254. It’s great that Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez — plus Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke, not in the lineup tonight — have been playing so well, but the ineptitude from the top of the lineup can’t last. Fister maybe isn’t the best guy to see to have that turned around; then again, he’s exactly who you might see in the playoffs.

But enough reality. I’m excited too. Joc!

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.